prose and politics.

There is some very interesting and startling stuff going on in the American Post-Secondary Education system. From today’s Inside Higher Education:

Prose and Politics

As college officials, higher ed policy wonks and other interested observers digested a draft report released late Monday by the federal higher education commission, some of them focused on ideas that should have been included but weren’t. Others analyzed the report’s political prospects. But again and again, virtually all of them returned to the paper’s “tone” — which partisans of higher education found distasteful (or worse) but others suggested was purposely designed to create a sense of public urgency about the problems facing academe and the country.

The report from the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education was prepared by the panel’s writer and several outside consultants, under the direction of Chairman Charles Miller. The document raised the hackles of many college officials who perceived it as giving short shrift to the many strengths of American higher education and emphasizing (or even exaggerating) its problems. The 27-page report describes colleges in one place as “risk-averse, frequently self-satisfied, and unduly expensive,” and characterizes higher education leaders as having an “unseemly complacency about the future.”

Miller and the panel’s staff had been planning on keeping all of the commission’s written work under wraps until it delivered a final report to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings in September, but they decided only over the weekend to make the draft public after concluding, they said, that federal law required them to release it.

Read the rest here

(Cross-posted at Ponies & Pachyderms)

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