Toward a College Testing System
Yes, yes, yes! Implement 3 year college degrees, allow broad 3rd party testing for most courses, reduce the colleges to teaching only, separate the research aspects. This is something I have discussed often, and think is ultimately necessary to result in the lowest cost, highest quality teaching university system.
"The New America Foundation is out with a new white paper, written by Fredrik DeBoer of Purdue University, on the prospects for a standardized or semi-standardized system of testing for college students. From the introduction:
Unlike K-12 schools, which have long been subject to legal and infrastructural pressures that result in standardization and homogeneity, universities have traditionally been individual, self-directed institutions. Private universities, in particular, have often functioned as their own worlds, operating under idiosyncratic rules and subject to few external authorities. This lack of standardization among universities both makes it more difficult to assess college learning and harder to coordinate and standardize such assessments."
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"There’s one other potential benefit of a carefully-constructed college assessment system that DeBoer doesn’t mention: It might help level the playing field by allowing students from less prestigious schools prove that they’re as capable as their Ivy League counterparts. As we’ve argued before, elite colleges and high-powered employers are in a symbiotic relationship of convenience that is deeply unfair to students who either didn’t want to go to a prestigious university or who couldn’t impress an admissions committee when they were 17 years old."
This would be a valuable change.