http://higheredwatch.newamerica.net/sites/all/themes/nafbase/images/logo.pngBy Lindsey Tepe. Today, as the President announced his new plan to make college more affordable, one of the three broad goals in his ambitious agenda focused on promoting innovation and competition in higher education. Plans like these are typically light on the details, asking for more investment – see the President’s Pre-K plan – and calling for legislative changes that are unrealistic in today’s political climate. Fortunately, this part of the plan seeks to capitalize on an existing policy tool that can help spur innovation by removing regulatory barriers: the Experimental Sites Initiative. For those who haven’t read through Title IV lately in the Higher Education Act, you may be scratching your heads and wondering what exactly experimental sites are. Well, in the 1992 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, Congress gave the Department of Education a powerful tool to test and refine innovative ideas in higher education. More...