This is a re-post from the “On the Issues” blog of the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education [http://futureofhighered.org/on-the-issues/]
A bill was recently introduced in the Florida legislature that would bypass the established system of accreditation and allow local state officials to accredit MOOCs and other online courses, including those from unaccredited for-profit providers. (A similar bill introduced in the California legislature was reported on in “On the Issues” on March 29, 2013 (http://futureofhighered.org/a-massively-bad-idea-from-california/).
Shortcuts on quality control cheat students and the public. As one legislator in the article points out, they open up higher education to “’scam artists’” who stand to make millions off of students desperate to get the courses they need for graduation.
Expanding “access” by jeopardizing quality is just not responsible higher education policy. There is no justification for starving public higher education and then subsidizing for-profit course vendors.