"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The College Test Score Race Has Begun

The kind of bragging-rights story that follows has, until now, been the main fare for K-12 media coverage. With the help of PR and marketing from college campuses, themselves, and with deep pockets of the Council for Aid to Education (now dedicated to spreading standardized testing in colleges), we can expect the testing wars to heat up in a hurry. The agenda: control the curriculums of colleges, especially colleges where the poor and the minority attend.
Students at the University of Charleston were ranked first in the United States on a recent college learning assessment test.

The Council for Aid to Education reported this week that on Rand's Collegiate Learning Assessment, which measures students' learning gain from their first year in college to their last, UC students did better than students at any other participating school.

The university was invited as one of 40 colleges in the country to participate in the council's pilot test.

The project began five years ago when UC freshman were first tested. This year, they were tested again before graduating.

Students at the school ranked above the 80th percentile in each of the testing areas, which measures things like how many books they've read, how many papers they've written, how many times they've talked one-on-one with a faculty member and their satisfaction with other learning experiences.

UC's freshmen ranked in the top 15 to 20 percent of participating schools, and seniors ranked in the top 10 to 15 percent.

The testing is part of a federal initiative to make colleges and universities more accountable for helping students succeed.

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