Education Reform Round-Up

For a number of reasons, I’ve felt for a long time that the debates over K-12 and Higher Ed Reforms are politically and institutionally linked: this is because arguments from one debate tend to get imported into the other, but also because the effects of K-12 reforms like NCLB are already having their impact on things like college readiness.  So here’s a selection of recent pieces I found that discuss reforms and their effects from a number of angles:

  • A long overdue piece by Nick Lemann in the NYer about the overblown “education crisis.”
  • In a critique of yet another accountability/productivity astroturf group’s press release, (The Center for Accountability and Productivity) Daniel Luzer of the Washington Monthly asks, “Just how easy is it to measure what colleges do?”  (Incidentally, does anyone know who is funding the The Center for Accountability and Productivity?) (though I must say they have interesting arguments and data about financial aid and the trends in the higher ed work force)
  • One of my favorite education bloggers, Dana Goldstein, asks “What Happens when Curriculum drives Education Reform?”
  • Observational Epidemiology asks, Which businesses should education model itself on?  Surely not NBC
  • Matt Yglesias picks up an interesting study that shows how public posting of job salaries affects job satisfaction.



Chron of Higher Ed Round-Up

From the latest Chron of Higher Ed:

  • Apparently, a Kennesaw State University study shows that online classes typically experience 15% higher dropout rates than face to face courses, and nothing seems to help.  Should universities already suffering from retention and graduation problems rethink their reliance on such classes, or adjust their mix of face to face to online offerings?
  • The Collegiate Learning Assessment put to the test.
  • Why socioeconomic class often fails to “count” as diversity.

TPPF Higher Education legislative guide 2011-12

In case you were wondering what the Texas Public Policy Foundation is telling legislators this session, here are their guides to Higher Education Quality and Productivity.


Degree-Attainment follow-up: WaPo and the Lumina report

As a follow-up to the previous post, I thought I’d share the Washington Post write-up of the Lumina report, along with the report itself.  For the pdf, click below:


The pages of the report that specifically deal with Texas are on 95-6.  One figure that Kever did not report can be found here:

How do we know that Texas’ economy will demand more college graduates? A recent analysis by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce provides the answer. According to the center’s analysis of occupation data and workforce trends, 56 percent of Texas’ jobs will require postsecondary education by 2018 . . . . It will be impossible to reach the Big Goal without significantly increasing college success among the groups that can accurately be called 21st century students, including working adults, low-income and first-generation students and students of color (95-6).

Closing the attainment gaps that currently exist among Texas’s population groups will be one of the most important ways for the state to come even close to reaching the Lumina goal of 60% degree attainment, from our current 33%.


Houston Chron: Weekly Round-up: UPDATED

This week, two items stood out:

  • Jeannie Kever’s piece on Texas’s latest goal for degree attainment: 3 million more college degrees
  • Kever’s latest article about the skyrocketing enrollments and increased diversity in Texas schools
  • via MomBlog, the costs of college for a kid born today: $175,000

Does the increased expense of a college education, and the amount of loans taken out by students, affect the public’s attitudes towards higher education, especially when college students are not just younger but substantially more diverse than the rest of the population?  Take a look at the comments.


via the Daily Cougar: Faculty Board of Directors Launches Teaching Website

Here we are in the Daily Cougar:

The faculty board of directors have worked together to open the Center for Teaching Excellence over the summer, and now they have launched a comprehensive website.

The site was developed for questions and resources related to the teaching mission of the University.

It’s nice to get some notice, and I hope our other events and programs will get some publicity too.


via Houston Chron: Students are not college customers

Jose Luis Bermudez, a Dean of Texas A&M’s College of Liberal Arts, who is also a professor of Philosophy, writes an op-ed about a persistent metaphor in accountability discussions: on whose behalf do colleges educate their students?