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ERIC Number: EJ792660
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6405
Coming Soon to a College Near You: Accountability
Reville, S. Paul
Connection: The Journal of the New England Board of Higher Education, v20 n5 p19-20 Spr 2006
According to a February 9, 2006 "New York Times" story headlined, "Panel Explores Standard Tests for Colleges," a new accountability era is descending upon a resistant higher education domain. The story describes the deliberations of a Bush-appointed commission considering imposition of standardized tests on college students. Ten days earlier, the "Boston Globe" reported that Massachusetts community colleges have a three-year graduation rate of 16 percent. Last year, the Education Trust launched a website ( devoted to reporting graduation rates at all U.S. colleges, disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender and income. Two primary features distinguish the new movement from existing reports such as Measuring Up and those issued by publications such as "U.S. News and World Report": first, the focus will be more on educational outcomes (as measured by such indicators as standardized tests and persistence in graduation rates) and second, there will be significant consequences based on performance. Observers have predicted that the accountability movement that has pervaded K-12 education over the past decade-and-a-half would, in time, arrive at the doorstep of postsecondary education. For most policymakers in the K-12 domain, strengthened accountability has become a precondition for funding increases. A similar political logic is now creeping into higher education funding debates, and higher education institutions seeking increased funding will have to accommodate the demands of the new accountability. The writer feels that the K-12 field has over-emphasized testing, and advocates that higher education leaders who do wish to have external measures imposed should embrace the new accountability movement and help shape it. Implications for post-secondary education are discussed.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A