Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rankings based on educational quality

Interesting post by Bob Samuels on the Changing Universities blog. Basically, he argues that the academic arms race has done nothing to improve the quality of education but has resulted in the flushing of tons of money down the toilet on star professors and administrators, fancy buildings, etc. in a mad attempt to place highly in the rankings. If universities were ranked on a real assessment of educational quality, they would invest more money into instruction. He's not advocating standardized tests but rather an evaluation system that generates comparable data on the quality of instruction (unclear what that would be though from this post). (Samuels has a forthcoming book, The Tuition Trap: Why Costs Go Up and Quality Goes Down at American Universities.)

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