RichRelevance CEO cites reasons why BPPE shouldn't regulate learn-to-code academies

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Feb 10, 2014 09:42 AM EST

RichRelevance Chief Executive Officer David Selinger outlined three reasons why the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education or BPPE in California should not regulate coding academies. His post came after the BPPE sent seven cease and desist letters to Hackbright Academy, Hack Reactor, App Academy and other academies that teach students how to code. The BPPE said the organizations would be penalized and even closed if it will not follow its policies and oversight, the post said.

For Selinger, the issue is not that complicated. First, the head of the firm that develops personalization technologies for global brands wrote that regulation is not appropriate as there is no accreditation claim. He said that the quality of the products/services given by a business is not the responsibility of governments. If an education business is not asking for accreditation then it should not necessarily be subjected to any type of regulation.

He added that regulation does not always translate to quality. While some entrepreneurs have showed their support for regulation because they found the students from these classes don't have the necessary skills, Selinger compares the situation to public primary schools. Figures from the California Department of Education reveals that under 60% of students in these schools in California have attained proficiency in Math or English Language Arts and that graduation rates are, most of the time, nearly under 80%. Selinger wrote, "While I understand that there are plenty of intricacies to these data, it underscores the fact that regulation does not achieve the actual objective: to deliver quality."

Finally, he argues that regulation costs money, time and bureaucracy. Legal regulation is warranted if these academies were claiming accreditation or making false claims or advertising. Since they are not, the whole debate is nonsensical as regulation is not only expensive but not effective and not appropriate as well, Selinger said.

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