Betsy DeVos Weakens Protections For Online Learning In Higher Education

Yesterday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released her final regulations for online education, otherwise known as “distance learning.” In a press release, DeVos said, “These regulations are a true ‘rethink’ of what is possible for students so that they can learn in the ways and places that work best for them.”

But many worry these regulations put innovation and institutional burden reduction interests ahead of quality and consumer protection needs. In fact, some version of the word ‘burden’ appears 52 times in the final rule; the word ‘safeguard’ only appears 9 times.

Federal higher education law requires distance education programs to provide “regular and substantive interaction” between instructors and students, so students aren’t left on their own to learn – they’re paying to learn from experts

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