A friend –struggles with the national politics of the VSA — noting it is “counter to what we really need to be working on.” He worries about the political pressures and requests insights.
We share the recent piece (also included in the Rain King Chronicles):
On page 10 Ewell notes:
“Several states, including Missouri and West Virginia, have recently experimented with the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) as the ‘new kid on the block,’ but none has as yet repeated the effort [Cal state University, University of North Carolina, and University of Texas systems are footnoted as experimenters]. —probably because these programs are expensive and maintain them requires spending a good deal of political capital in the face of substantial institutional opposition.”
On page 15 he says:
“Many colleges and universities hold the position that such information should be comparable across institutions, a position reflected in the VSA; but many do not do so, maintaining that each institution should be free to set its own learning goals and assessment methods. A parallel discord surrounds the term ‘respond.’ The VSA is unambiguous in construing ‘response’ to be complete public disclosure, while many intuitions continue to construe ‘response’ to mean conducting a program of assessment that measures up to accreditation standards, regardless of whether the public ever gets to see the results.”