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ERIC Number: EJ1140092
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
Charting the Future of US Higher Education: A Look at the Spellings Report Ten Years Later
Neuman, W. Russell
Liberal Education, v103 n1 Win 2017
September marked the tenth anniversary of the release of "A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of US Higher Education," the report of the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, also known as the Spellings Commission. Blue ribbon panels rarely say much that is new or stimulate much sustained attention, but the Spellings report seemed to strike a chord and did a bit of both. In 2009, Stanford educational psychologist Richard Shavelson observed that the commission had spurred debate and prompted a variety of new initiatives to assess undergraduates' learning and to "hold higher education accountable." The report's central theme, on target then and perhaps even more significant now, proclaims that "to meet the challenges of the 21st century, higher education must change from a system primarily based on reputation to one based on performance." The challenge, fully acknowledged by the commission at the time, was and still is how to define and assess performance. What is it that four years of college-level study is designed to accomplish? Accordingly, there have been two important lines of activity and research in the wake of the Spellings Commission-one studying the articulation between college and successful, well-compensated careers, and the other taking a serious look at what critical thinking actually is and what in the college experience might facilitate it. A discussion is presented about what might be needed if the next ten years are to distinguish themselves from the last ten since the Spellings Commission.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A