Putting Education Reform To The Test

University of Florida President Suggests Alternative to Texas College Reforms

Ebyabe / Wikipedia.org

Century Tower at the University of Florida

University of Florida president Bernie Machen has offered an alternative to higher education reforms floated by Gov. Rick Scott, according to a letter obtained by the Times/Herald capital bureau.

Scott has yet to submit a proposal, but the Texas reforms have sparked criticisms from administration and faculty. Florida State University’s president has also drafted an alternative plan to measure school performance.

“Many of the accountability proposals in the Texas plan are currently embedded in the University of Florida’s approach to accountability,” Machen wrote to Scott, noting faculty are vigorously reviewed. “Students control their destiny through the ability to take their state-funded Bright Futures scholarships wherever they choose to matriculate. Student satisfaction and success is further measured by retention rates, graduation rates, and applicant demand for admission.”

Machen recommends four ways to measure the university system:

  • 4- and 6-year graduation rates for undergraduates; time to degree for graduate students; number of STEM graduates; percentage of bachelor degrees in STEM; professional licensure passage rates; placement of graduating students in the workforce, graduate school and professional schools; average indebtedness of graduating students
  • Number of patents; external research grants and contracts
  • Number of licenses, royalty income, new business spin-offs
  • Number of medical, nursing, and dental clinics; efforts to improve teacher preparation and in-service training; citizens and industries serviced by IFAS; number of jobs created

What do you think of those measures? How should the state gauge university performance?


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