(by the Federal Issues Committee)
On December, 19th, U.S. Department of Education released its draft framework of the Obama Administration's College Ratings plan (see our blog post from that day, titled ED Releases Draft College Ratings Framework), otherwise known as the Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS). Today, we wanted to provide you with some additional background information:
The U.S. Department of Education has a webpage dedicated to this issue where you can read the release as well as find links to the following:
- a detailed explanation of the ratings system (17 pages),
- blog posts from HomeRoom, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education,
- a printable fact sheet (6 pages), and
- an opportunity to comment on the draft framework.
Comments on the framework are due by February 17, 2015 and can be submitted on the U.S. Department of Education website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several commentaries have been posted since the release and all seem to agree that the announcement by ED does not unveil a lot of new information. It more so tells us ED is being held accountable to do something soon, as the President wants implementation before the 2015-16 year. In light of next year's Republican majorities in Congress, where opposition to the proposals is already firm, it is hard to tell from the announcement how realistic implementation will be over the next year.
"This so-called college ratings system is a fool’s errand and the secretary needs to stop it immediately.”
- House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN)
“Trying to create yet another complicated, federal system—this time for grading our country's 6,000 colleges and universities—is every bit as impossible and unnecessary as it sounds and is sure to fall flat on its face. Making sure students have access to the information they need to pick the right school is important and something we will discuss during the next reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, but I can’t support letting Washington bureaucrats use taxpayer dollars to fund a higher education popularity contest.”
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN)Here are some suggestions of what you can do:
- Read our December 19th blog post, titled ED Releases Draft College Ratings Framework. This post has some great links to catch up on the news articles and commentary.
- Bookmark ED's College Ratings webpage at www.ed.gov/collegeratings to follow future updates, as well as have quick access to information.
- Share the information and discuss with your colleagues and campus leaders. Have copies of the printable fact sheet available.
- Send a short summary to key stakeholders at your institution soon to begin the conversation.
- Finally, submit comments on the draft by February 17, 2015 and share those thoughts with your state association and MASFAA. MASFAA will be visiting Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. at the end of February and your views should be represented.