The Inmates Running the Asylum?
areas. Using this approach focuses the evaluation of the current system as well as proposed reforms on all of the most important dimensions and demonstrates how public policies addressing one issue can create or exacerbate problems in others. The scorecard also provides an abridged and illustrative summary of our analysis.
TABLE 1: A RUBRIC FOR EVALUATING ACCREDITATION
Quality Assurance (Accountability)
Define (Appropriate) Measures of Quality Certify Quality Inform the Public
Promote the Health and Efficiency of Higher Education Preserve Historical Strengths Maintain independence/autonomy of colleges Maintain diversity of institutions and missions Promote Efficiency Don’t suppress innovation by existing colleges Don’t be a barrier to entry for new innovative colleges Don’t impose unnecessary costs
Part two of the paper identifies the most commonly suggested reforms of, and replacements for, accreditation. We analyze the likely impact of each reform, and briefly discuss whether it would be appropriate given the goals as have been discussed. The third part of the paper builds off the conclusions of the first two parts to make the case for replacing the accreditation system. The final part lays out our recommendations.