Phi Beta Cons

Pressure on Accreditors to Measure Performance?

The Education Department’s top accreditation official has suddenly left his job, causing speculation that the department felt he was not pressing strongly enough for the reforms the department’s political leaders favor — and in particular those that would require colleges to better measure and report how much their students learn.


Inside Higher Ed cites the following reaction by Terry W. Hartle of the status quo-minded American Council on Education: “What causes concern in this case is the fear that someone who was tough but fair will be replaced with someone who is tough and unfair.”


Keep in mind that many in the higher education establishment consider the open assessment of student learning “unfair” — or even “invidious” as I have repeatedly been told upon urging such assessment.