2/22/2006

USA Today Comes Out For Mandatory College Grad Rate Data -- But Not Mandatory College Testing

Things are getting interesting on the HEA reauthorization front.

The editorial page at USA Today comes out this morning in favor of better data from colleges and universities -- using Secty Spellings' experience finding a college for her daughter as an example of the problem -- but against mandatory academic testing for colleges a la NCLB (What high schoolers need USA Today via EducationNews.org):

"Information on dining plans and intramural sports is everywhere, but data about graduation rates or instructional quality are hard to come by," states the Solomon-esque editorial, which goes on to say that "Tracking college students' academic progress doesn't require mandatory standardized tests, like those used in elementary and secondary schools."

The editorial points out that literacy rates for college graduates leave much to be desired, and that research universities in particular aren't oriented around educating undergrads. (There's a shout out to the John Merrow-created PBS show Declining By Degrees in there as well.)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the interesting stats that potential students can get is the top three degrees awarded. You can find it on the Princeton Review site. What I find intereting is that many of the "elite" universities have economics and government as their top degrees awarded. I would tell any student that is looking at such schools to think again. Especially if the recruitment literature is all about pre-med, science, and engineering.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous david deschryver said...

I agree that the discussion appears to make HEA reauthorization interesting, but it will not likely happen for some time. The Deficit Reduction Act took alot out of the initiative to reauthorize and Congress would have to recreate the bill (Becuase a lot was taken out and placed into DRA). In an election year, this is not going to happen.

9:20 AM  

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