School daze. (Letters).
Thank you for your excellent article on U.S. colleges and
universities ("Broken Ranks," September 2001). As past
president of state and city boards of education and president of a
foundation largely devoted to pre-college education, it has troubled me
that, unlike K-12 schools, colleges and universities offer no
information as to the job they are doing in educating undergraduates. In
addition to U.S. News, pressure for such information could be exerted by
ongress (a condition for receiving federal loans and grants) and/or state commissions of higher education, which could require it.
As to your excellent point on "time on task," you might
have noted how the college school year has shrunk. A study a few years
ago found that the average number of instructional days at the top
colleges had fallen from 192 in the 1960s to 168 today. K-12 public
schools in Maryland are required to be open 180 days.
ROBERT EMBRY, JR.
President, The Abell Foundation