How to ‘shake up’ higher ed

If President Obama really wants to “shake up” higher education, he should start by scaling back student loans, writes economist Richard Vedder. In addition, colleges should share the costs of high default rates, discouraging them from enrolling students with little chance of success, argues Vedder.

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  1. ”Why doesn’t someone (College Board? Educational Testing Service? Google Inc.?) develop a national college equivalency examination that tests for the critical learning skills, literacy and basic knowledge that all college graduates are expected to have?”

    Because of Griggs v. Duke Power, that’s why.  Asking for competence without the blessing of the higher-ed establishment has “disparate impact”.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      Richard Vedder: “Why doesn’t someone (College Board? Educational Testing Service? Google Inc.?) develop a national college equivalency examination that tests for the critical learning skills, literacy and basic knowledge that all college graduates are expected to have?”

       

      I wonder what these “critical learning skills, literacy and basic knowledge that all college graduates are expected to have” consist of (and notice that the math counterpart to literacy is not part of Mr. Vedder’s list …). As nearly as I can tell, there isn’t *ANY* consensus on what knowledge and/or skills every college graduate should possess. None.

       

      Engineer-Poet: “Because of Griggs v. Duke Power, that’s why.”
      This won’t matter for the folks giving the test and/or handing out certifications. Griggs v. Duke Power is only relevant for hiring decisions (which is why colleges don’t get in trouble for disparate impact because of the SAT). And since companies can already use credentials/certificates when hiring, I don’t think another would be any more of a legal landmine. Griggs prohibits companies from giving their *own* tests except under very limited circumstance. Using someone elses credentials seems to be okay …