Punished for Its Mission?

Ry Rivard, Ignatia Webs, Aug 09, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

There's more than a little hyperbole in this story, which describes a small liberal arts college that does not score well on metrics because it's designed to help people get jobs or university placements outside the state of Florida, where it's funded. The real lesson here is that metrics reflect the interests of those who set them, and as a consequence often predict what they attempt to measure, missing what may be relevant or valuable. As for the college itself, it's not clear to me that a small hands-on college designed to send students to Oxford is the best use of public funds in any case. But as one person says on the comments, if the president can make the case, the metrics will be changed.

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