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May 31, 2014 10:02 AM Blame Congress for College Ratings System Problems

By Clare McCann

President Obama’s proposed college ratings system has caused a stir among colleges and universities. And lately, those worries have extended to a few members of Congress, one of whom is apparently drafting an appropriations rider that would prevent the Department of Education from implementing the ratings. But this week, a White House adviser made clear that the administration doesn’t see Congress as much of an obstacle on this issue, saying, “This is happening.”

So with the ratings system moving forward, it’s time for onlookers to focus their attention elsewhere: Congress. As I wrote over at The Hill today, lawmakers should repeal the absurd ban in place now on a federal student unit record data system, so that the Department and other stakeholders can at least have the benefit of accurate data. As I noted:

When the department releases the ratings system this year, it will no doubt be subject to endless scrutiny from the thousands of people watching and waiting. But think twice before blaming the administration for all of its limitations.

Read the full story at The Hill. And to learn more about the student unit record system idea, check out the report that my colleague Amy Laitinen and I published on the subject earlier this year, College Blackout: How the Higher Education Lobby Fought to Keep Students in the Dark.

[Cross-posted at Ed Central]

Clare McCann is a policy analyst with the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation. Find her on Twitter: @claremccann

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