Capuano, Goodlatte: College Ratings Plan Not the Answer

January 14, 2015

Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Michael Capuano (D-Mass) released the following statements upon introducing H. Res. 26, a resolution opposing the President’s proposal to create a college ratings system:

Congressman Goodlatte: “Colleges and universities are now just a few months away from the implementation of the Administration’s college ratings plan. However, no one is really sure what this plan will entail. The ‘draft framework’ of the proposed college ratings plan released last month has virtually no new information to share with us and lacks specifics. Though concerns were raised by many, including 50 presidents of Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities, the Department of Education insisted upon moving forward and made little headway in shedding more light on what colleges and universities can expect. H. Res. 26 strongly supports the quality and value of diversity in our higher education system and makes clear that the Administration’s proposed college ratings system is not feasible, and if attempted, would decrease choice, diversity, and innovation. It is not the place of the federal government, through a ratings system, to attempt to measure the value of an individual’s education. I urge my colleagues in the House to join us in voicing opposition to the Administration’s misguided ratings system.”

Congressman Capuano: “While I appreciate the President’s commitment to making higher education more accessible and affordable, establishing a system to rate schools using imperfect criteria that cannot be accurately measured or equally applied is not the answer. I am especially concerned about using this ratings system to determine financial aid, which could unfairly burden students and further reduce their access to higher education.”

Background: Congressmen Goodlatte and Capuano introduced a similar resolution, H. Res. 614, in the 113th Congress. In August 2013, the Department of Education announced they would develop a Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS), or college ratings system, as part of the Obama Administration’s “Plan to Make College More Affordable.” On December 19, 2014, the Department of Education released a draft framework. The system is set to be enacted prior to the start of the 2015 school year. This ratings system, as proposed, would potentially tie financial aid to an institution’s rating. Together, Congressmen Goodlatte and Capuano represent more than 50 colleges and universities.

Contact: Alison Mills (Rep. Capuano) 617-621-6208