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

Friday, December 27, 2013

A College Rating System Designed to Benefit the Testing Industrial Complex and the Efficiency Zealots

In these days of casino capitalism, the corporate education losers look more like losers every day.  If those of us who are determined to restore sanity to our schools and colleges keep pushing, the whole corrupt and cowardly con game known for decades now as "education reform" will continue to unravel in the coming year.  They will not go easily, however, which means that the education affirmation movement must keep pushing, debunking, uncovering, revealing, analyzing, and dissecting.

No one wants the planned college rating system dreamed up by Pearson, Gates, and the short-sighted efficiency zealots who know a bonanza when they smell one. While the ridiculous Arne Duncan tries to put lipstick on, yet, another pig, the cowardly Dems remain as quiet as church mice about the scandalous for-profit empires being built on the backs on the most vulnerable students who use tax money to make billionaires richer.

The following clip is from a commentary at Forbes:

. . . .I’m highly skeptical that any of these government metrics will lead to better education.
We’ve already seen what government scorecards do in our public education system. Thanks to the No Child Left Behind program, we now have incessant testing of students, beginning in elementary school, and thousands of hours devoted to teaching students how to take tests rather than learn new material. Schools have not improved as a result. Do we want this trend to creep into colleges too?
I’m not the only one who thinks this a bad idea. Janet Napolitano, the president the University of California system and former Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama, told the Washington Post that she is “deeply skeptical” of the criteria that a federal ratings bureau would develop.

“It’s not like you’re buying a car or a boat,” said Napolitano.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has already criticized the critics of the new rankings system, calling the criticism “premature and a little silly.”  Duncan emphasizes the need to address the alarming number of college students who default on their student loans. This is certainly a problem, but a college ranking (or rating) system is not the solution.
Perhaps the biggest problems with student debt is the rapid rise in mediocre, for-profit online colleges. If the feds want to get the loan problem under control, they should stop funneling money to these Yugos of higher education. As the PBS show Frontline pointed out in 2010, for-profit universities are

 “churning out worthless degrees that leave students with a mountain of debt.”
And they’re not cheap, either - the GAO found that

“tuition in 14 out of 15 cases, regardless of degree, was more expensive at the for-profit college than at the closest public colleges.”

So yes, we do have a problem with student debt. One solution would be to exclude truly bad colleges, which are responsible for a disproportionate share of student debt, from federal aid. . . . .

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