The Chronicle has up a piece about yesterday’s hearing, and adds some useful history:

This is not the first time the Education Department has been criticized for its oversight of ability-to-benefit tests. In 2002, following a series of audits, the department’s Office of Inspector General recommended that the agency improve its monitoring of test publishers. While the department took some measures to do so, “additional improvements are needed,” the acting inspector general, Mary Mitchelson, told members Wednesday. In fiscal 2009, 11 percent of all federal aid, or $12-billion, went to students who had taken ability-to-benefit tests, she said.

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Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.