Duncan Calls Criticism Of College-Rating Proposal ‘Silly’

Career College Central summary:

  • Last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan took critics of the Obama administration's proposed college-rating system to task, saying that attacking a system before its details have been worked out is "more than a little silly." Duncan emphasized that the proposal could represent a meaningful improvement over the current system for doling out federal aid.
  • In a speech to more than 100 university presidents and higher-education leaders here at the Time Summit on Higher Education, Duncan acknowledged the difficulty of creating a comprehensive system, but he said that could not be a "discussion-ending excuse for inaction."
  • He said the system would be multifaceted and would incorporate measures of access for Pell Grant recipients, measures of affordability like average tuition and student debt, and output measures such as transfer rates, graduates' earnings, and alumni satisfaction.
  • Duncan also provided more specifics on the process of creating the rating system. The Education Department will post the first request for information on what factors could be part of the rating system next month, Mr. Duncan said, adding that the department would talk to hundreds of people.
  • The proposed rating system, which would tie levels of federal aid to an institution's rating, is a central part of the college-affordability plan unveiled in August by President Obama.

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