A Disappointing Disconnect

As regular readers know, the Washington Monthly has a long history of seeking out and publicizing innovative approaches to public policy challenges, particularly in the area of higher education. That’s what Kevin Carey did in last year’s College Guide issue of the magazine in a piece on the future of college admissions that focused on a very promising organization called “ConnectEDU.” It aimed at a voluntary national data-driven system that would help aspiring students identify and apply to the best possible college environments for them, while helping colleges develop diversity and accomplished entering classes.

Sometimes between the idea and the reality, “falls the shadow.” Curious about how ConnectEDU was working out, Sebastian Jones and Daniel Luzer did a follow-up interview with the outfit’s CEO in July, and hearing some disappointing results, did some additional inquiries with students, schools and ConnectEDU. Their update was published yesterday at Ten Miles Square, and they report ConnectEDU is unable to document much progress at all in achieving its ambitious goals.

Check out both the original piece and the update. The idea behind ConnectEDU still makes perfect sense. But it’s unclear whether it’s the right time, or the right organization, to bring college admissions fully into the twenty-first century.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.