I have served on accreditation teams for the standard regional accreditors and for the American Academy for Liberal Education. I’ve worked in various capacities on self-study committees in preparation for accreditation visits. Suffice it to say, I know a little about the accreditation business.
I was relieved to learn that Margaret Spellings (whose tenure will--thankfully--end soon) has extended AALE’s recognition for three (as opposed to the standard five) years.
I can say with some confidence that the colleges with which I have dealt as a representative of AALE are performing marvelously with respect to the concerns Spellings cites, at least as well as those who deal with regional accreditors.
I can also say that we still have to pay attention to the difference between busy work and assessment that actually helps colleges improve what they’re doing. I’m not certain that Spellings knows the difference.