Letter to the New York Times Magazine

December 06, 2007

Letters to the Editor
New York Times Magazine

To the Editor:

There's a fundamental difference between a college choosing the tools it uses to evaluate student learning, and the government picking measures for it ("No Gr_du_te Left Behind," September 30).

In my conversation with Mr. Traub on learning assessments ("No Gr_du_te Left Behind," September 30) I provided important context for NAICU's views on standardized testing that was left out of his article. As a result, the quotes attributed to me do not tell the whole story. Contrary to the impression left in the story, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities supports the choice of institutions to use learning assessments that best fit their unique missions and educational objectives.

What we vehemently oppose is government prescription of those measures through legislation or regulatory action. The private higher education sector is incredibly diverse, representing many different types of missions, student profiles, sizes, and academic offerings. As a result, private institutions rely on a wide array of measurement tools. Prescribing any standardized learning outcome tool would simply not capture the diverse educational work of the nation's 1,600 private colleges and universities.


David Warren
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

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