When the U.S. Department of Education released its first College Scorecard in September, the media narrative was that college rankings would become more reliable, because they could take advantage of large amounts of federally verified data.
We at Sparkology have access to plenty of intimate data about people's dating lives. Sometimes the data is too good not to share! By way of backgroun...
Today, the real and virtual ink expended in elaborate rebuttals of the so-called higher education "swimsuit" editions that rank colleges and universities now matches the amount of ink expended in producing these editions.
In particular, it would be very useful for prospective students to know which colleges offer the most bang for their buck, and a good approximation for this goal is to rank colleges by the ratio of student earnings after graduation to their debt at graduation.
We get what we measure. And, right now, we're getting schools primed to attract and graduate students but not necessarily to create transformative change in their lives or in the society in which they live.
Coming up with a list of colleges and universities for application involves a lot of consideration for every student. Students who identify as LGBTQ have extra best-fit criteria to consider when it comes to finding their ideal schools.
Our conversation was wide ranging and stimulating -- Amit is a passionate advocate for improving higher education in the U.S., and ensuring access and success to the widest possible student population -- as am I.
We would normally go on about the factors we weighed when ranking these things, and how we considered the college town, athletics, etc. But we want to be real with you.
This past weekend saw a major data dump by the federal government related to higher education. It occurred in the stealth of night and as soon as folks realized all the new information that was out there in the public domain, social media lit up like a Christmas tree.
There are a lot of things kids who go to California colleges like to hang their hats on when they graduate, like going to the top-rated public school in the country ('sup Berkeley), or attending a university with infinity football titles (hi, USC), or a zillion other things that honestly don't matter even a little bit.
Every one of these academically outstanding schools has a profile in the book and on our website chock-full of direct quotes from those students, offering you a campus snapshot with #nofilter.
Perhaps the time has come to develop metrics that matter. Are we assessing whether a college or university is a "going concern," measuring workforce development, or looking for productive citizens who can adapt their communities, however they define them, to the global economy?
Along with baseball and romance, spring means it's time for parents and students to get serious about college search. College is a big investment and the financial and personal payoff to making the right choice is huge.
I am deeply troubled by this misuse of graduation rates as an indicator of academic quality when in fact they could indicate, in some cases, exactly the opposite. The notion that a graduation rate near 100 percent is a sign of academic quality is simply nonsense.
The incredible diversity of mission, students, and programs that make it impossible to rank schools is the foundation of the great strength of the best higher education system in the world.
In a national and international environment where the fate of democracy hangs in the balance, it is crucial to push back. We need to build the democracy movement in and around higher education. One task is to overturn the rankings, a new tyranny which holds us all in thrall.