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For-Profit School Accreditor Reinstated Despite Education Dept. Report

The Education Department reinstated ACICS after its own analysts said the accreditor didn't meet federal standards.
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For-Profit School Accreditor Reinstated Despite Education Dept. Report

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reportedly reinstated a for-profit college accreditor despite Education Department findings that the organization didn't meet federal standards.

That's according to a March report made public Friday that shows officials in the department were concerned about the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The report says ACICS failed to meet 57 of the 93 criteria required of accreditors by federal law.

The Obama administration first shut down the accreditor in 2016. DeVos reinstated ACICS in April 2018 after a judge ruled the Obama administration illegally ignored relevant evidence in the case.

An Education Department spokesperson says that ruling required DeVos to reinstate the accreditor. But as DeVos notes in a memo from April, the court only ordered she further review the decision.

The president of ACICS told Politico the March report contained inaccuracies. The Education Department's Office of Postsecondary Education called it "incomplete" and said it may include fact errors.