Davis seeks clarity on bogus-degree issue

Davis seeks clarity on bogus-degree issue

House Government Reform Committee chairman Tom Davis today asked OPM director Kay Coles James to focus on how to define legitimate educational achievement as the government seeks to curb diploma mill abuses.

In a letter to James, Davis praised her for the steps OPM has taken to counteract the diploma mill problem.

'But with this letter I want to refocus on an important point: To truly get a handle on this problem, we first need a framework for distinguishing legitimate schools from illegitimate ones, a plan for tracking legitimacy over time and a way to get this information to all federal employees,' Davis wrote.

Davis noted in his letter that institutions' accreditation status can change over time. He also pointed out that there are many schools that lack accreditation but do, in fact, provide legitimate educational programs. In other cases, some programs within a school can lose accreditation while others retain it. 'And some schools are just too new to be accredited yet,' Davis wrote.

Davis invoked House of Representatives rules to request specific information from OPM, including:

  • Documents related to a governmentwide plan for informing federal employees about accreditation

  • Plans for tracking accreditation status

  • Plans for assuring that federal employees are not disqualified on the basis of the accreditation of the schools they attended.

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