PolitiFact nailed Paul Ryan again, who seems to be perfecting the art of taking a few reality based facts, twisting them into something surreal, and selling it as a bold vision of the future.
A 2012 National Review article headlined "The College Cartel" argued the college accreditation process gives accredited schools a monopoly on higher education and weakens incentives for them to control tuition costs.
"Why don’t we break up the college cartel & let students try different options?" U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, tweeted on May 14, 2016. "Let's give students a choice."
Oddly, at about the same time Ryan endorsed Trump, he also pushed the GOP's hot new policy idea that would allow con men like Trump to create “colleges,” saying the marketplace and students should decide where and how they want to spend their education dollars. You know, a return “buyer beware,” no regulation.
Ryan has argued that reforms in the accreditation process — including the embrace of non-traditional teaching formats such as massive online open courses — could help lower tuition costs.
Online schools have been a disaster, so good idea Paul. What Ryan hates actually encourages quality and competition:
Going to the dictionary: When asked for evidence, Ryan spokesman Ian Martorana began by sharing a definition … "Cartel: a collusive . . . association of independent enterprises formed to monopolize production and distribution of a product or service, control prices, etc. … referring to the fact that the federal government controls the supply of higher education through the accreditation process."
The Department of Education … acknowledges accreditation plays a "gatekeeping" role in access to the annual $150 billion spent on federal student aid. "Accreditors are responsible for ensuring baseline levels of acceptable quality and performance across diverse institutions, degree types, and academic programs," the department said in a 2015 news release.
But that does not mean the private accreditation firms are working with the government — nor that the more than 60 active accreditors, which are private entities, are working together … there are approximately 4,200 accredited colleges and universities in the United States. And they compete against each other for students, government aid and grant money. Each institution decides what degrees to offer and what is required to attain them.
Here's Paul Ryan’s give to Trump…
Indeed, anyone can create a college — the accreditation only comes in as a means for students to get federal student loans. "As we know from Trump ‘University’ and from McDonald’s ‘University,’ you can use it as a euphemism," Nassirian said. "You can use it in any context you want to. And nobody stops you from awarding whatever degree you want to award."
While it is true that the accreditation process acts as a "gatekeeper" of federal student aid, but that is a policy standard and, in practice, is different than a cartel which would require collusion between institutions and many other factors. For a statement that contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would leave a different impression, we rate the claim Mostly False.