Nov. 3, 2006

Does 'Value Added' Add Value?

Listen to some critics of higher education, and you'll hear constant calls
for more accountability and assessment. Colleges don't do enough to figure
out whether students actually learn anything, the line goes, whether there
is any "value added." Several hundred academic administrators from around
the country heard a version of this from Education Secretary Margaret
Spellings, when she told their meeting:
<>  "In higher
education, we've invested tens of billions of taxpayer dollars over the
years and basically just hoped for the best."

The Spellings text was largely a rehash of statements she and others have
made about why accountability and assessment matter. Earlier in the day,
however, attendees at the National
<>  Symposium on
Postsecondary Student Success heard a very different presentation about


Assess this:


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