When I was a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, Bob Zemsky constantly reminded my classmates and me of two important things to remember when writing research papers or dissertations. The first was to show the reader the evidence; making statements or conclusions based on flimsy evidence was not a pathway toward graduation or a means of building a successful academic career post graduation.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” As an educator, I believe Mr. Franklin’s statement is accurate. Recently, however, an international ranking of educational success found that despite its role as a global superpower, the United States lags behind other countries. Top performers include Hong Kong, Canada, Taiwan, Estonia, Japan, and Korea.
During the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, fewer articles about higher education are published, primarily because colleges and universities are closed and faculty, students, and administrators are not around. On December 28, 2012, however, The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “Deans List: Hiring Spree Fattens College Bureaucracy- and Tuition.” The article doesn’t appear to have been picked up in too many other places.
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which received bipartisan support for its passage in 2001, requires that states implement a variety of assessment mechanisms for students and teachers in order to qualify for federal education funding. This federal act does not establish criteria to which all states must adhere; the means of assessment are left to each state to implement as it sees fit.
It is hard to have a day go by where there is not at least one article in the major media about the high cost of college. With the recession and its impact on state and local budgets, tuitions are being increased at many public colleges and universities and some institutions are reducing the number of students attending in order to cut costs for next year.
Bob Zemsky, co-author of Remaking the American University: Market-Smart and Mission-Centered led a session for Presidents and Trustees of colleges and universities at the 2007 Higher Learning Commission annual meeting in Chicago. At the time, he was a member and participant on the Spellings Commission and he provided the audience with an update on the Commission’s findings from his perspective.