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ERIC Number: EJ775138
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Truth Without Action: The Myth of Higher-Education Accountability
Carey, Kevin
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v39 n5 p24-29 Sep-Oct 2007
In September 2006, the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education issued an indictment of American higher education. Costs are too high, said the panel formed by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, graduates rates too low, and learning outcomes a mystery. Moreover, "compounding all of these difficulties is a lack of clear, reliable information about the cost and quality of postsecondary institutions, along with a remarkable absence of accountability mechanisms to ensure that colleges succeed in educating students." This author contends that the commission had it right--accountability in American higher education is largely a myth--and as a result, higher education is stuck in an endless cycle of attack and defense, of accountability conversations that founder on basic differences of definition. This creates two dangers for the nation's higher education institutions. The first is that an outside force will break the impasse by imposing an accountability system that actually works (for example, the "U.S. News & World Report's" annual college rankings and the No Child Left Behind Act), but in the wrong ways. The second is that the impasse will not be broken, and public support for higher education will slowly bleed away. To avoid these outcomes, the author states that higher education institutions must invest more time and money in gathering information about their performance, and make this information publicly available in a way that allows straightforward comparisons between and among institutions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001