ERIC Number: EJ904774
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 0
Beyond Crude Measurement and Consumerism
Katz, Stanley N.
Academe, v96 n5 p16-20 Sep-Oct 2010
Why should faculty members support efforts on their campuses to assess student learning outcomes? A great deal of ink has been spilled in recent years by a small number of professors and a much larger number of educational administrators arguing for assessment and pleading for greater faculty support of institutional assessment efforts. More significant for most people in academia, however, has been the support for outcome assessment that comes from those committed to external imposition of accountability--those with the legal and financial power to reward or punish institutions that do not meet their expectations. This includes the federal secretary of education or state education officials. The concern here is that even beyond the consumerism mentality, crude measures of educational "success" would be developed through high-stakes testing or other blunt mechanisms and that these measures would constitute the primary methods for evaluating, rewarding, and punishing faculty "performance," along the lines of the current movement to hold K-12 teachers "accountable" and to get rid of those who do not "measure up" to the prescribed standards. In this article, the author discusses the importance of an assessment system and the important role faculty members are expected to play. The author concludes that those people in the academia who want to take ownership of the evaluation of undergraduate education must devote considerably more time, effort, and ingenuity to the assessment of student learning over the life course of undergraduate education than they have been doing.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Study, Elementary Secondary Education, Institutional Evaluation, High Stakes Tests, Administrators, Student Evaluation, Consumer Education, Outcomes of Education, Academic Achievement, Educational Administration, Community Colleges, Educational Research, Communities of Practice, Accountability, Evaluation
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aaup.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A