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That Was Quick — Obama Administration Unveils “College Scorecard”

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“… My administration will release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria — where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.” - President Obama, 2013 State of the Union

As these tweets from last night show, I and others were concerned about President Obama’s announcement of a “College Scoreboard”:

Grading schools on an arbitrary criteria is something we in K-12 know all too well.

Today, the United States Department of Education unveiled this so-called College Scorecard. You can see the announcement here and use the Scorecard here.

It lets you choose any college and then gives you this data: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment. However, no “employment” data is yet shown — they say they’re working on it. Though it seems to me that it can’t hurt to have the info on the first four items shared, it’s a bit concerning to me how they are going to “frame” the employment data — if a large number of graduates go into some kind of public service and have lower salaries, will that be “spun” negatively?

Can you think of additional info that would be helpful to have in this kind of “Scorecard”? (I do wish they had come up with a different name for it). Am I missing something in believing that their first four categories could have useful info, and am I off-based being concerned about the income data being used in an unhelpful way?

UPDATE: Check out The New York Times’ article, Scorecard for Colleges Needs Work, Experts Say.

SECOND UPDATE: Read More On The President’s New College Scorecard

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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