Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Higher Education Accountability
In my morning reading of Inside Higher Ed, I noted that accountability for student learning outcomes was on the docket at a meeting this week among representatives of the U.S. Department of Education, various higher education associations, and accreditation agencies. The upshot of the negotiations, which have been tense in the past, was that institutions of higher learning will continue to set their own agenda for the outcomes they seek to achieve. Efforts to deputize accreditation agencies to define and collect data on other outcomes appeared to be overruled. This action may be framed as a step forward for continued higher education academic freedom or a loss for those concerned about assured consistent quality of learning across various higher education institutions.