Diane Auer Jones, a top higher education official, was in the hot seat on Wednesday before a House Oversight subcommittee. Here are some highlights:
— Jones sparred with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), the panel’s chairman, over DeVos’ restoration of a large accreditor of for-profit colleges that was terminated by the Obama administration. Krishnamoorthi asked Jones to reconsider her recommendation on the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, citing letters Democrats obtained last year that they said showed some of the accreditor’s peer organizations hadn’t actually provided the support that Jones’ report claimed they had.
— Jones and Krishnamoorthi disagreed over whether the peer accreditors had provided sufficient support for ACICS to meet the federal standard of having “wide acceptance” in the field. “The criteria is not for an endorsement,” Jones said, but rather whether peer organizations “accept” ACICS accreditation.
— On the Dream Center controversy: Jones said the Education Department is still examining the flow of millions of federal dollars to Argosy University, whose eligibility for federal aid was terminated by the Trump administration earlier this year after the Dream Center-owned school failed to disburse financial aid owed to students. “There is a review that’s ongoing,” Jones said, adding that the department had not yet received audited financial statements from the schools.