See Thru Edu is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Thomas K. Lindsay, Ph.D., Editor in Chief and Director, Center for Higher Education, Texas Public Policy Foundation

THE COMPETENCY GAP

A study released in October validates what has been suspected about the degree to which American adults trail our global competitors in basic reading, math, and analytical skills.  Called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, researchers under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation tested over 160,000 persons ages 16 to […]

THE TEACHER COLLEGE: END IT, DON’T MEND IT

We have prolonged the debate over teacher preparation and the primary nominal provider of it for too long, without any appreciable enhancement of the quality of preparation we desperately need for the advancement of student achievement.  We need radical change, beginning with terminating undergraduate teacher preparation as we know it through colleges of education.  We […]

STANDARDIZED RATINGS FOR COLLEGES: AN IDEA NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME

Now comes the Obama administration’s idea, in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, to develop a national rating system for colleges and universities and to allocate financial aid based on the ratings beginning in 2018.  Supposedly the aid would be linked to what the President calls “value,” however that might be defined on a […]

ACTA Calls Out the Accreditation Industry

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) continues its yeoman work in aggressively pursuing reform of the flawed higher education accreditation industry.  ACTA President Anne Neal provided devastating testimony this past summer before Congress that points to the continuing failure of college accreditors to support true incentives that would enhance academic quality and student […]

THE REAL “JOHNNY FOOTBALL” ISSUE

As a fan of college athletics, I followed the autograph signing case of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel  pretty closely, but I don’t have anywhere near all the facts and I shouldn’t comment about the eligibility settlement of the case with the NCAA.  However, there are larger issues here that concern me, as follows. A […]

Will We Finally Begin to Educate the Educators?

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) announced new and higher standards for accreditation of colleges of education last week and, if this really is a start toward significantly increased rigor for educator preparation, the organization’s leadership should be congratulated.  The CAEP accredits approximately 900 teacher preparation programs comprising a little over 60% […]

THE HUMANITIES WARS

We are besieged by commentary in the battle over the humanities in higher education—do we need more emphasis?, do we need less?, is it all about jobs?, is it all about competency in a skill set?, what about critical thinking?, what about making good citizens?, what about the pursuit of meaning in life?, etc., etc. […]

THE COMING DISRUPTION OF COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION

A couple of articles by Paul Fain in Inside Higher Ed (www.insidehighered.com)  brought to my attention with more clarity the promise and inevitable disruption of the trend toward competency-based higher education.  He reports on pilot programs now underway at a growing number of for-profit institutions and at least 25 or so non-profit institutions, including Western […]

TEXAS LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP

Previously I noted that it was crunch time for school accountability in Texas, as the Texas Legislature wound down to final decisions on several bills, most significantly one that would drastically reduce the standard for high school graduation as measured by standardized high school end-of-course assessments.  Unfortunately, HB 5 passed and was signed into law, […]

IN PURSUIT OF COLORBLIND ADMISSIONS

The Supreme Court decision in Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin rejected a lower court decision upholding how the University considers race in admissions on grounds that it didn’t meet the “strict scrutiny” test for using race.  Unfortunately, the decision left standing the 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger that allowed the continuing […]