California Lawmakers Gut Legislation Meant to Regulate Accreditor

In February state lawmakers in California proposed a sweeping set of regulations for the agency that accredits the state’s community colleges. But the bill, AB 1942, which passed the Legislature last month, has been stripped of nearly all its original requirements, and other measures aimed at the accreditor remain stalled in legislative committees.

A legislative analysis of the original bill revealed that its authors had a deep misunderstanding of the accreditation process and little understanding of the possibility of several unintended consequences that could lower the quality of higher education.

“The Legislature didn’t feel empowered to make the changes” recommended in the original bill because lawmakers didn’t have enough information on the problems created by the accreditor, said Jim Mahler, president of the Community College Council of the California Federation of Teachers, which represents some community-college faculty members in the state. The union, one of the main proponents of the original bill, will continue to push for more oversight of accreditors, Mr. Mahler said. <Read more.>

Via Eric Kelderman, The Chronicle of Higher Education.