Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Measuring Higher Ed: Leading Professors' Union is against It. All of it.

The American Association of Professors, on of the largest college teachers unions, is against even the idea of any form of measurement. This might work if budgets were unlimited, outcomes left nothing to be desired and dinosaurs roamed the earth, but this transparent admission shows just how stifling legacy systems and organizations are to the education system in the US (TechCrunch):

In response to President Obama’s push to tie federal college aid to labor-market outcomes, the American Association of University Professors has issued a stern warning against the seemingly uncontentious idea of evaluating colleges before giving them money. “In reality measuring the output of our colleges and universities in a meaningful way is simply not possible,” writes President Rudy Fichtenbaum.

As someone with an advanced degree in the mathematics of social science, I fully appreciate the difficulty in quantifying post-graduate outcomes. But, Fichtenbaum’s opposition isn’t to any specific metric; it’s to the very idea of evaluation– not educational, not civic, not financial– nothing. He wants a blank check, even as colleges fail to improve student outcomes by their own standards.

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