A report released last week by the Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service proposes a national system for assessing student learning during college, amid widespread calls for clearer accountability in higher education.
A national commission on higher education is expected to call for better measures of student learning in a report this fall.
The ETS report, “A Culture of Evidence: Postsecondary Assessment and Learning Outcomes,” proposes giving a set of common measures, focused on workplace-readiness and general skills, to a sample of students within each higher education institution, much like the National Assessment of Educational Progress in K-12 education, for which the ETS is a primary contractor.
The report, which is online at www.ets.org, suggests that the six regional postsecondary accrediting agencies be charged with integrating a national system of assessing student learning into their ongoing reviews of institutions.
A version of this article appeared in the July 26, 2006 edition of Education Week