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January 9, 2017 Comments (0) International Education

Is Linking Funding to College Graduation Rates 'Misguided'?


A growing number of states want to link some of the higher education funding to graduation rates. Many call it a logical next step in the drive for accountability that began some time ago in primary and secondary education systems.

Yet based on John Wernecke writing for that Lantern, forcing this type of link is misguided?since graduation rates are a poor way of measuring how well universities are in fact performing with regards to educating students.

When funding is linked to graduation rates, colleges will respond by \”rushing\” students through their programs and into their mortarboards, regardless of what this may do to academic standards. At the moment, fewer than half of Americans who have earned a university degree did so in Four years, so it is sensible to ask why lawmakers and college administrators are looking to change that.

In an essay titled “How Undergraduate Education Became College Lite” Murray Sperber, English professor at Indiana University at Bloomington, blames a \”non-aggression pact\” among students, professors and administrations. Students are unlikely to complain about easier, watered-down classes and the inflated grades which go along with them. Because of the option, professors are often happy to pursue ventures beyond grading student papers. Since university administrators aren\’t held accountable to improving graduates’ skills and data they are just as unlikely because the students and professors to break the cycle. Instead, schools are more likely to gain prestige for non-academic factors such as selectivity, size, and football team ranking.

In an analysis of research on the topic, Patrick Terenzini and Ernest Pascarella came to the conclusion that measures used by ranking publishers such as the U.S. News typically don’t reflect schools’ quality perfectly, if at all. In a paper titled How College Affects Students, they\’re saying that benefits obtained by the students using their college degrees correlated very loosely with \”traditional measures of institutional quality.\”

So the united states News rankings aren\’t much to visit off. Maybe that was already obvious to some – but a look at the list of \”high points,” our \”select accomplishments and points of pride\” published on Ohio State’s website, implies that we put our US News rankings in the forefront. Graduate and undergraduate. Wexner Clinic, too. ??OSU\’s apparent pride during these contested rankings is simple to brush off like a necessary move to promote school pride, but we really should run within the opposite direction. The escape will not be easy either – this past year, state funds composed 9.3 percent of OSU\’s income according to Ohio State’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning. Such a big chunk left hanging in the balance means the administration will strain to satisfy the graduation rates encouraged by Kasich and drafted through the university presidents.

The push for higher graduation rates will push schools to compete harder for the best candidates, figuring that those who performed well in senior high school will be more prone to stay on track in college, too. But doing that won\’t prove that one school surpasses another anymore than C as Wernecke puts it C operating on healthier hearts will not prove that the surgeon is improving his or her skills.

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