Category Archives: Margaret Spellings

June 27, 2007, 1:11 pm

Who’s On First? College Ranking Systems

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities otherwise known as NAICU — is that pronounced “Nay-koo” or “Nay-soo?” — has rolled out a sample template that, when filled in with real data from real colleges, will allow potential students and their parents to compare institutions: the curious will be able to click on various parts of the webpages, and go to data bases kept by the colleges themselves that give more detailed information. You can read about this innovation in making the process of choosing a college even more time-consuming and hideous than it already is at the Chronicle of Higher Education: click here. This is part of a growing effort, I think, to topple the supremacy of the U.S. News and World Report rankings, and sell colleges in ways that they wish to be sold rather than forcing them to meet criteria set by (yecch!) journalists.

You know, I think …

Read More

May 15, 2007, 4:04 pm

College in Credit Card Nation

Having just made it through one college admission season in Credit Card Nation, I am bracing for the next. One of the down sides of being involved in the Higher Ed Biz is that people with college-age children believe or hope that we who are on The Job can give some kind of useful advice about how to get into a great school. This often leaves the Radical in a tough spot. For example, I honestly don’t know why people do or do not get into Zenith, since I imagine, like everything else, it changes from year to year and I haven’t seen a first-year file for four years. And even if I had, I still couldn’t tell you. Different applicants fill different instutional desires, and those desires are not always predictable. My students exhibit a range of talents and abilities about which I cannot generalize in any useful way, or translate into a “good” application. Some write well; others write…

Read More