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  • Obama's higher education rating system - will it work?
  • Posted By:
  • Willy R
  • Posted On:
  • 30-May-2014
  • There is heated argument all around since our President introduced the college rating system. The administration opines that it is imperative to have such a rating system in order to ensure that there is optimum value for higher education.

    Supporters of this system point out that at least $150 billion federal financial aid is supported by the public. This makes the rating system all the more important as it will ensure that these dollars are used in a proper manner.

    According to critics however, this kind of rating system is generic and institutions that adopt a different approach to offer value education may not fulfil the criteria. They say that this simplistic way of judging quality of institutions could be damaging to these non-conforming missions.

    As compared to institutions that focus on vocational education, liberal arts institutions that prepare students for preferred occupations even though they are low paying may be seriously hurt.
    What we can clearly see is that all critics strongly believe that our higher education’s academic purpose is totally ignored by our President.

    There is no doubt that he is striving to address the complexities of factors such as career readiness, affordability, loan debt management, successful employment, accountability and transparency.

    What is being ignored here is the fact that needs and preferences of students vary in terms of how education has value and import for them. There are varied interests in the American society and different institutions with different missions cater to these interests.

    Through his political career, our president has emphasized on being open to change and of having a flexible mind as prerequisites for the overall development of our country. Our overall ability to respond to social issues in an intelligent, creative and flexible manner is shaped to a great extent by our colleges and schools. A single rating metric is definitely not the answer that will help bring about the change he has been advocating for.

    Going forward, our president must once again go back to the drawing board and work out various aspects before pushing the rating system forward. One of the important questions to be addressed is whether the ability to respond to constantly changing society is facilitated by our education.

    The specific experience of students in relation to the academic subject matters must be used to find out how they value the education they receive. Our president himself has more than once sounded a caution on teaching to the test. He definitely endorses a very positive and pro-active social change and this rating system is going to be detrimental to his own efforts.

    He must now develop an educational policy that helps express his own perspective on change and culture. Learning must be through forward thinking and productive action, through discovery and through exploration.

    Notwithstanding the current assessment and teaching practices and notions of standardization, our educational institutions should be pulled up if they do not take efforts in developing a nimble intelligence. If we adopt our president’s rating system, it is not possible to equip our society with a motivated populace that will respond efficiently to a world that is constantly changing.







 

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