Saturday, February 18, 2006

Higher Ed and lifting student achievement

The Association of American Colleges and Universities journal Peer Review published a piece by Carol Geary in 2002 that outlines what would be required to implement value-added analysis for measuring growth in student knowledge across a 4 year education. The primary requirements would be a consistent understanding of the core curriculum required for a bachelor's degree and a move to performance testing that would show growth of knowledge.

One of the ironies of undergraduate education is that colleges use placement tests across the student body to test for basis skills or for advanced placement early in the process and then not at all after that. There is no capstone test.

We have a similar situation in high schools in many states. There are tests in 9th or 10th grade that measure whether student are performing at the required level, but no efforts to measure what student know when they graduate. The value added by high school is mostly unmeasured.


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