Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Noteworthy Links

by Andrew Gillen

Vox EU has a couple more interesting education pieces.

Paying universities to lower their standards looks at recent reforms in Italy:

In general, the reforms have given universities more autonomy and more powerful incentives. These incentives have often been implemented through “input funding” contingent on the number of students and “output funding” based on the number of diplomas granted

They find that

by funding universities according to the number of students that pass their exams, the Italian government is favouring those universities that add less value.

How do policies influence the investment in higher education? examines investments and graduation in OECD countries. Be sure to check out the big swings in figure 2, which shows estimates of the rate of return to education by country.

Greg Mankiw quotes the student paper

The best predictor of college success is not the SAT, but rather tests that examine knowledge of a standardized curriculum, such as SAT subject tests, said [Harvard's Dean of Admissions William] Fitzsimmons.

And last but not least, Alexander Russo highlights how a principal at one school sounded the alarm about possible cheating at another school based on the

abilities of the kids who transferred into his school

It might be nice if some colleges started doing the same thing, not necessarily to catch cheating, but rather to highlight effective schools so that they could be copied by the ineffective ones. From what I recall in Rupert Wilkinson's Aiding Students, Buying Students, college admissions offices already have internal lists of good and bad high schools. It would sure be nice to aggregate those lists, and compare them to curriculum, funding, socioeconomic status, etc. among the schools to see what is most effective.

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