Paige calls for meeting on diploma mills

Education Department Secretary Roderick Paige wants to convene a meeting for state and federal officials to discuss the best ways of dealing with government employees who obtain bogus credentials from diploma mills.

Paige told Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, that his agency doesn't have the authority to determine whether a school is a diploma mill. "That decision is best made by appropriate regulators in the state in which the school is located," he wrote in an Oct. 9 letter to the senator.

Several months ago, Collins asked the department to identify and curtail the activities of diploma mills, which offer degrees without requiring extensive academic work.

Some organizations supply a degree in exchange for money, while others require an amount of work much less than the college-level coursework normally done to earn a degree.

Paige wants his agency to meet with states that have laws restricting diploma mills, as well as with Collins' staff and officials from the federal Office of Personnel Management. *

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