Category Archives: Accountability standards

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Education Dept.’s Progress Is Stalled in Complying With Consumer Rule

The Education Department has not made any progress toward generating data this year to comply with the Obama-era gainful-employment rule and does not have “any timetable” for doing so, according to a letter last week from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The hotly contested regulation, a holdover from President Barack Obama’s administration, is meant to hold career-preparation programs accountable when their graduates’ education debts consistently exceed their ability to repay them.

The letter c…

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Texas A&M Removes Provost Over Conflicts of Interest

After an internal investigation found conflicts of interest between the provost and her spouse, Texas A&M University at College Station removed the provost and named an interim, The Eagle, a local newspaper, reported on Wednesday.

The office of the provost, Karan L. Watson, who last August announced her intent to step down after seven years in office, was responsible for paying Nancy Watson, her spouse, more than $114,000 during her time in the position. Nancy Watson, who owns a consulting ser…

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Education Dept. Delays Compliance Deadline for Gainful-Employment Rules

Updated (7/1/2017, 9:34 a.m.) with additional reaction.

The U.S. Department of Education will give colleges and universities an extra year, until July 1, 2018, to comply with the controversial gainful-employment regulations by reporting certain data to the department, it announced late Friday afternoon in a news release.

The regulations aim to judge career-training programs based on the debt of graduates relative to their earnings. Programs with failing gainful-employment numbers can risk losing…

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Education Dept. Will Reconsider Grant Applications Rejected for Formatting Problems

Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, said on Wednesday that her department would reconsider 77 Upward Bound grant applications that the agency had previously rejected because of minor formatting problems.

Ms. DeVos, testifying before a committee at the U.S. House of Representatives, said that the decision to reject the applications had been made “under the purview of the previous administration.” Under the existing rules, she said, the department had no legal remedy to reconsider the applica…

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Education Dept. Says It Will Pick Single Loan Servicer

The U.S. Department of Education will award one contract to Navient, GreatNet, or the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency to service student loans and to build a platform to do so, James Manning, the acting under secretary of education, told reporters on Friday. The move is part of the next phase of the department’s revamping of how it chooses an outside company to service the billions of dollars in federal student loans it issues.

In April, Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, with…

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Federal Lawmakers Begin New Push for Student-Outcomes Data

Updated (5/15/2017, 5:51 p.m.) with comment from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is starting a push to repeal the federal ban on tracking the educational and employment outcomes of college students, Politico reports. The prohibition was enacted as part of the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Four senators — Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah; Elizabeth A. Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts; Bill Cassidy, Republican of L…

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Former For-Profit Lobbyist Quits Job at Education Dept.

Taylor Hansen, a former lobbyist for for-profit colleges, quit his job at the U.S. Department of Education on Friday, Bloomberg reports.

Mr. Hansen is the son of Bill Hansen, head of USA Funds, a student-loan-guarantee agency that has recently branched out into other career-education projects. The younger Mr. Hansen was one of only a few advisers to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with experience working in higher education.

He resigned after the department announced that it would reverse an Oba…

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Senate Does Away With Obama Teacher-Prep Regulations

Congress, in an effort to limit federal involvement in higher education, has voted to eliminate Obama-era regulations on teacher-preparation programs.

The legislation, passed on Wednesday by the Senate on a 59-to-40 vote, is expected to be signed by President Trump. The House of Representatives approved the bill last month.

The accountability system that would be affected by the legislation was put into effect in October by the Department of Education. It requires states to report on the success…

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U.S. Gives Colleges More Time for Appeals Under Gainful-Employment Rule

The U.S. Department of Education on Monday announced that it was giving colleges more time to submit appeals regarding data that is connected to the enforcement of the Obama administration’s hotly contested gainful-employment rule.

Lynn Mahaffie, the acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education, said that the action was being taken “to allow the department to further review the GE regulations and their implementation.”

Many people have speculated that President Trump will withdraw the …

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Agriculture Dept. Removes Animal-Welfare Data From Website

A trove of information about animal welfare in university and government research laboratories, in zoos and circuses, and elsewhere disappeared from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website on Friday, worrying animal-rights activists and others who have been concerned that the Trump administration will stop making available a range of data collected by the government.

In a written statement, the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said that during the past yea…