Secretary Spellings' Commission on the Future of Higher Education recently issued a second draft of its upcoming report. This "performance" blogger was pleased by the commission's position that, "To meet the challenges of the 21st century, higher education must change from a system based on reputation to one based on performance." If the commission would now place front and center the necessary, systemic role of technology in improving performance when per-student-FTE costs must simultaneously be reduced, then the path to higher performance would be clearer and the future of higher education would arrive sooner and more affordably.
While honoring the reasonable request of its high ed commissioners to soften the tone of its critique of the present state of higher education, the commission left intact most of its ideas for how to improve the performance of higher education. The article excerpted below provides a nice analysis of the commission's second draft and amended direction. Those who subscribe to the Chronicle of Higher Education can also read a Chronicle article about the commission's second draft
For more on the commission's progress, see my recent post, Tough love from the Commission on the Future of Higher Education. Meanwhile, read:
Commission Report, Take 2
Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, July 17, 2006
Gone are the statement that America’s colleges and universities face “grave” problems, an offhanded reference to grade inflation, and the controversial call for a “national” approach to higher education accreditation. In their place are descriptions to colleges as “treasured national assets” and to American higher education as “the very best system in the world.” The second draft of the report by the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, which was circulated to the panel’s members late Friday and could be released publicly as soon as today, differs significantly from the heavily criticized staff-written first draft that the commission’s chairman, Charles Miller, released two weeks ago. The latest report is far from a finished product — it includes neither a preamble (which contained the first draft’s most inflammatory language) or a conclusion, for instance — but the new document is much more cohesive and more fully represents the views of the 19 commissioners, whose written and verbal critiques of the rushed-into-print initial draft are incorporated on every page. Many panel members complained that the initial draft mainly reflected the thinking and work of the commission’s outside writer and stable of consultants, often seen through the prism of Miller himself. Commission members sent in written comments, and 12 of the commissioners gathered behind closed doors in Washington late last month to review and revise the first draft. Read more ...