AALE Back for 3 Years
Quote:Education Secretary Margaret Spellings on Tuesday took the American Academy for Liberal Education off accreditors’ death row, lifting a ban that prevented it from approving new institutions. But while the secretary also extended the agency’s federal recognition by three years, through 2010, she required a series of reports to and appearances before the Education Department’s accreditation advisory committee that could keep AALE on its heels.

AALE, as it is known, has been in limbo since April 2007, when Spellings, acting on a recommendation by her National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, barred the accrediting agency from approving any new members, citing what department officials characterized as its failure to set clear standards for measuring student learning outcomes and to adequately collect and review data on how its member colleges measure such learning. The freeze permitted the agency to consider members who seek to have an individual program — like an honors’ college — accredited, but bars it from providing the more coveted “institutional” accreditation that carries with it access to federal student aid.

Supporters of the liberal education accreditor, once a darling of conservative commentators on education, argued that it had fallen prey to the department’s push to compel accreditors (and by extension the colleges they accredit) to more rigorously assess and measure the learning outcomes of students. They also suggested that AALE was being held to a higher standard than other agencies, pointing out that the accountability system it adopted was more rigorous than most other non-vocational accrediting agencies....

This situation reminds me of that old poster for the movie "Electra Glide in Blue":
[Image: electra.jpg]

When the government wants to make a point, who do they pick on?  Yeah, the little guy.  

Not that the point isn't a good one.  If the regionals are going to claim they represent "quality" they ought to have some quantitative way of backing it up.  Since they don't and can't, it's nice of the government to hold them to the same fraud standard as everyone else.

But since the government was afraid to go after the big boys, they made the little kid an example for all.  Unfortunately, the AALE represented a neat alternative for legit startups to bypass the monolith on their way to accreditation.  Knocking it out of play narrowed the playing field.   Now they are back in action we hope we will be hearing more pig squeals from the RA shills.
AALE is one of the best accreditors in the US. It's maybe even better than the DETC. The schools it accredits are a wonderful mix of liberal arts schools. Regional accreditors are all about $$$. AALE seems to actually care about education in the broadest sense.

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