Field of Science

New fun and games with public education in Lincolnland

The grain, er brain, trust that runs Lincolnland is looking into using some type of assessment metric to evaluate public institutions of higher learning and then use that ranking to determine state support. The code phrase is "out-comes based funding". This is such a terrible idea on so many levels you hardly know where to begin. OK, let's start with the un-obvious. What's the point? Is it to get better performance out of poor performing institutions by punishing them financially and removing resources? Yeah, that should work. Is it to put more resources into the best performing institutions to get the most bang for the buck? Increased resources? To education? In Lincolnland? Yeah, that was ridiculous. Is it to have some reason to further cut state support? Duh! It makes your head hurt every time someone wants a "metric" to evaluate higher education. Graduation rate, degrees per dollar, grants per faculty, wins per sports scholarship. Who knows. Oh, but won't that help improve the quality of higher education if degrees awarded or some similar metric is used. Can you say pandering? You can see the new slogan now: "Lower your standards and save your funding." And of course, we still have mopes out there, even in education itself, who bemoan the lack of assessment, the lack of a metric to use as a basis of comparison, which means the failure of faculty to know if anyone is learning anything. Has the Phactor calmly commented on this before? The more selective institutions will have it made so to speak, and woe be to institutions who mission requires them to admit riskier students. Nothing whatever good can come of this. Sorry, but the link to this news story was lost, but this is what it's based on. How can this not lead to gamesmanship being played and putting state insitutions into a competition for limited resources? Oh, maybe it'll be "Reality Higher Education". Today one of our state insitutions will be voted out of existence because of regular poor performance and failure to meet their outcomes. Next year another one will be at the bottom, and you see where this leads. Ah, yes, folks, Lincolnland where all our kids are out-of-state students.

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