Posts published in November, 2012

New Developments In The Changing Ecology Of Postsecondary Education

Several developments concerning our project on the changing ecology of postsecondary education:

First, a newly désigned project web site, with lots of new content, is here:

Second, we’ll be convening the workshop for our monograph _Remaking College_ at NYU later this week.  Schedule is attached to this message, and here.

Third, the project’s first policy brief, by Jane Wellman on broad-access finance.  You can find it here:


Bad Study Habits College Students Should Change recently published an article, 7 Bad Study Habits You Should Change Immediately”,  Here’s the link: (  Each of these study approaches should be carefully examined if you use any of them.

Asessment Group Provides Descriptors For College Readiness

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, has approved a set of descriptors for the tests it’s designing for the Common Core State Standards. They lay out how many levels of achievement there will be on the test, specify what level a student has to reach to be considered college ready, and describe the level of expertise students must show to merit that title. (Education Week.

National Academy Finds Current K-12 Tests Hinder College Readiness

by Sarah D. Sparks/Education Week

The use of testing in school accountability systems may hamstring the development of tests that can actually transform teaching and learning, experts from a national assessment commission warn. Members of the Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Education, speaking at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Education here Nov. 1-3, said that technological innovations may soon allow much more in-depth data collection on students, but that current testing policy calls for the same test to fill too many different and often contradictory roles. The nation’s drive to develop standards-based accountability for schools has led to tests that, “with only few exceptions, systematically overrepresent basic skills and knowledge and omit the complex knowledge and reasoning we are seeking for college and career readiness,” the commission writes in one of several interim reports discussed at the Academy of Education meeting. (more)

Another Study Shows Increases In College Completion

Record shares of young adults are completing high school, going to college, and completing degrees, newly analyzed data from the Census Bureau reveals. Of the nation’s adults ages 25-29, data show that 90% have finished at least a high school education, 63% have completed at least some college, and 33% hold at least a bachelor’s degree. (Education Week

New Study Finds Higher College Completion Rates

A National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report takes account of the circuitous but ultimately successful routes that students often take toward a college degree. When nontraditional patterns of enrollment are considered, the national completion rate jumps to 54%, from 42%. Among full-time students, 75% earn a degree or certificate within six years, but part-time students have much lower completion rates. (Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/15/12)

New Reports Worth Reading

Advancing to Completion (The Education Trust)

Cracking the Credit Hour (New America Foundation)

Student Debt and the Class of 2011 (The Institute for College Access and Success)

Transfer: An Indispensible Part of the Community College Mission (American Association of Community Colleges)

Using Student Learning as a Measure of Quality in Higher Education (HCM Strategists)

From ECS

Many Questions Remain For MOOCs On Line Courses

Elite education for the masses
“The courses pose questions for top universities: Are they diluting or enhancing brands built on generations of selectivity? Are they undercutting a time-tested financial model that relies on students willing to pay a high price for a degree from a prestigious institution? Or are they accelerating the onset of a democratized, globalized version of higher education? MOOC students, for the most part, aren’t earning credit toward degrees. Educators say that before credits can be awarded, they must be assured that there are adequate systems to prevent cheating and verify student identities. But at the very least, these students can claim to have been educated by some of the world’s most prestigious universities.”

Graduation Rate for Community College Transfers Is Impressive

Graduate, Transfer, Graduate
Only one in five community college students transfer to a four-year institution. But 60% of those who do so earn a bachelor’s degree within four years, according to a National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report. Another 12% remain enrolled after four years. Further, 71% of students who transfer after completing an associate degree earned a bachelor’s degree within four years of transferring.


Wish List For Obama’s Second Term

Higher Ed Watch

Now that President Obama has been reelected, and he has more time to sit back and read Higher Ed Watch, we are presenting our wish list for his second term, including reforming federal student loan repayment options  and holding schools accountable for keeping college costs low.

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