Education Dept. Tells Ratings Skeptics Their Concerns Are Valid

A key Education Department official said on Tuesday that she shared education researchers’ concerns about the potential unintended consequences of a federal college-ratings system.

Responding to several studies presented at a Congressional briefing she attended, the official, Deputy Under Secretary Jamienne S. Studley, said the researchers had raised “very appropriate” questions about the risk that college ratings could inadvertently harm minority students and the institutions that serve them.

“The conversations we are having [at the department] are eerily similar to the one I’ve heard this morning,” she said. She also outlined her “own test of success” for the ratings: Will they recognize institutions that do a better-than-expected job of graduating low-income, first-generation, and minority students?

The proposed ratings system, due this fall, will judge colleges based on measures of access, affordability, and student outcomes, and could eventually allocate federal aid based on those ratings. <Read more.>

Via Kelly Field, The Chronicle of Higher Education.