Education Futures

The Atlantic recently conducted a survey of American college presidents on the future of education. While this particular sampling is not exactly reflective of the United States (or, well, any valid predictor of what will actually happen), the results are kind of interesting.

Despite widespread concern about the proliferation of students taking remedial courses, many of the administrators surveyed by the magazine believed that their students entered college prepared to learn. They were “prepared from the start.”

There’s also been some talk in recent months about how education might improve if faculty were held to normal labor standards, if universities just abolished tenure. Well no, say the university presidents. As one explained:

[T]enure would be replace[d] by limited-term contracts and a complex, burdensome, continuous review of all faculty members at all levels of appointment. The workload required to do it sufficiently well to stand up to the scrutiny of “equitable” review is remarkably large. To do this for the goal of separating a few who are normally called “incompetent” is very expensive and actually in a pragmatic world is not likely to be done well, either.

In addition, everyone sampled seems to think that in the future foreign universities will tempt students away from American schools. The number one country that will poach our students? Well, China. No surprise there.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer