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Monday, January 09, 2006

greetings, testing, and a long overdue thanks

Hello everybody! Hope reading period's going well for everyone and that breaks were enjoyable all around. Despite the often borderline-unhealthy intensity of our study schedules during the upcoming exam period, I suppose we can be thankful that we don't have to worry about university-level standardized testing in addition to finals. Apparently, in the spirit of No Child Left Behind, The Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education is considering introducing standardized testing as an accountability tool for colleges and universities. Is this what pedagogy has come to? My, my. Well, there's a lot to say on that subject, so maybe we'll have to host a special guest discussion on Cambridge Common, especially in honor of the curricular review, exploring the various meanings and purposes of education. That could get deep. In the meantime, best of luck to everyone in staying as sane and balanced as possible in the coming week. (more in expanded post).

Also, this is kind of a long shot, but if someone who signed a kind comment to me as "E" a while ago is still reading, I just wanted to say thanks, I really appreciated it. I thought I knew who you were and was going to contact you in 'real life,' but my guess was wrong. Anyway, your words meant a lot to me and if you're up for it, I would love to meet up sometime and discuss life outside the blogosphere. :) Nothing beats personal interaction. So send me an email if you feel like it.


At 6:03 AM, Blogger Samson said...

Why not? It makes perfect sense to hold colleges and universities that recieve boatloads of federal funding (through federal financial aid programs and research grants) accountable for the broad, basic education that they claim to give their students. Colleges are involved in quite the prickly moral hazard every day - they are supposedly accountable to the government for their education of young people, but because there is no metric by which to measure their success/failure rate, and no real push to do so, they lower standards to the point where almost everyone can graduate with a degree (which thereby boosts their U.S. News & World Report Rankings). Something to think about.

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

How would the outcome of said test be used? Would it be a measure for graduation (a la the MCAS for Massachusetts high school students)? Would it only apply to public schools or would it apply to private schools as well?

Supposedly, due to the generally better private schools in the U.S. v. public schools, if everyone was tested and this was a requirement for graduation a whole lot of college students at public schools would not be granted degrees. The impact that this would have on the workforce and the continued future of the U.S. needs not be stated--not to mention the socioeconomic and racial implications of this as it relates to which types of people are in which colleges.

This is my immediate concern and just one way to look at it. Others?


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