Saturday, August 12, 2006

Secretary of Education: Future of Higher Education

I read this new report, A National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education (PDF WARNING) from start to finish, and as I read my cynicism grew. It was filled with gems such as:

Faculty must be at the forefront of defining educational objectives for students and developing meaningful, evidence-based measures of their progress toward those goals.

And then there was this:

The federal government should provide incentives for states, higher education associations, university systems, and institutions to develop interoperable outcomes-focused accountability systems designed to be accessible...

Okay, have we all stopped laughing? Anyway, after smiling my way through the first twenty four pages I came across this gem:

The Commission encourages the creation of incentives to promote the development of open-source and open-content projects at universities and colleges across the United States, enabling the open sharing of educational materials from a variety of institutions, disciplines, and educational perspectives. Such a portal could stimulate innovation, and serve as the leading resource for teaching and learning. New initiatives such as OpenCourseWare, the Open Learning Initiative, the Sakai Project, and the Google Book project hold out the potential of providing universal access both to general knowledge and to higher education.

Wow! Whoever managed to slip this into the report (and I have my ideas) deserves a huge high five. I was completely and totally with Twofish's assessment, Yet another STUPID report on higher education until I got to the above. Now I'm thinking this has the potential to be one of the most significant moments in higher education in the last 144 years. (And I never exagerate.) I'm willing to hold-my-nose and look the other way on the Google Books thing. Regardless, this is mostly right and I am now completely and totally endorsing their recommendations.

The entire report is twenty eight pages long. It‘s still in draft form and labeled ”FOR DISCUSSION PURPOSES ONLY". You can send your comments here: public comments.

No comments: