Not too long ago, W’s secretary of education Margaret Spelling and friends strongly suggested that the concept of standardized testing as all-purpose education cure should be extended into colleges and universities.
As you might expect, the people running those institutions didn’t like the idea at all. Susan Hockfield, an administrator at MIT, doesn’t think the problems lie on her campus. Whose fault is it? Take one guess.
Higher education needs help, but what is really broken is K-12 education. We need more high school graduates who can understand and do math.
She’s right, of course. But I hope she doesn’t think MIT or any other college is going to get those graduates as a result of the lowest common denominator, test-driven system now being cemented in place.
Hockfield and other college administrators will be testifying before a federal higher-education commission tomorrow and, hopefully, will give them hell.
But, fortunately, not all the members of that panel have bought into the higher ed testing plan.
”Colleges and universities should more explicitly state their educational goals and determine how well they meet them,” he [one member of the commission] wrote. ”But I am very skeptical that a single test exists or could be developed that would reasonably accomplish that across the wonderful diversity of American institutions.”
Of course, we know it’s entirely possible for that to be done in K-12 education. No diversity there.