Reauthorization of the Federal Higher Education Act and Accountability for Student Learning: The Dog that Didn't Bark
Robert C. Lowry
An important feature of President George W. Bush's education policy was the promotion of accountability by requiring the collection and dissemination of data on student learning outcomes. In the case of primary-secondary education, this resulted in the No Child Left Behind act. When the Department of Education sought to initiate a rulemaking on measuring student achievement in postsecondary institutions, this was rebuffed by Congress in 2007 and then further precluded in the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. This difference in outcomes reflects differences in policy issues, institutional relationships between federal, state and private actors, and interest group communities. As a result, explanations for the expansion of federal authority under No Child Left Behind do not necessarily transfer to postsecondary education. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.
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