Phi Beta Cons

College Accountability

A story on Inside Higher Ed today discusses the work the National Association of State

Universities and Land Grant Colleges has been doing on a system to measure

and publicize how well schools educate their undergraduates.
I’m skeptical that an accountability system that really allows students,

parents, and other interested parties to separate the wheat from the large

volume of chaff will emerge from any organization inside the higher-

education community, but this is an important objective. With the very high

costs of college, it’s crucial that students and parents be able to identify

institutions that actually add educational value, rather than merely certify

the passage of courses. For starters, it would be good to know if a school

enhances a student’s literacy. We know from last year’s National Assessment

of Adult Literacy that many college students graduate with pathetic literacy

skills (I wrote about that here) and many kids who coast through college

taking easy, stress-free courses will wind up in easy, low-pay jobs.
We have a vast higher-ed establishment that depends on people not making

informed decisions about the relationship between costs and benefits in

college. The door stands wide open for someone to step forward with a

reliable measuring rod for institutional effectiveness.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Did Flynn Lie?

At the outset, let’s get two things straight: First, there is something deeply disturbing about the Obama administration’s decision to open a counterintelligence investigation on retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn while he was working on the Trump campaign — and, ultimately, about the Justice ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Where Is the Flynn 302?

Better late than never (I hope), my weekend column has posted on the website. It deals with the question whether General Michael Flynn actually lied to the FBI agents — including the now infamous Peter Strzok — when they interviewed him in the White House on his third day on the job as national security ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Who’s in Charge Here?

In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump was asked on many occasions whether he would “accept the results” of the election if he were to lose. Democrats and their media allies demanded that he make a solemn vow to “accept the results.” It was never entirely clear what anybody thought ... Read More
Culture

Remembering Christopher Hitchens

Tributes to the late Christopher Hitchens, who died seven years ago yesterday, are trending on Twitter. Hardly surprising. Hitchens had one of those rare, magnetic personalities and a genius for friendship according to some of the most talented writers around today such as Douglas Murray, Christopher Buckley, and ... Read More
U.S.

G-File Mailbag: The Results of a Bad Idea

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Including those of you just standing there eating Zarg nuts), I had a bad idea. It wasn’t a terrible idea, like asking a meth addict ... Read More