Students' 'Episodic' Engagement

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WASHINGTON -- Jim comes to college with big academic ambitions, struggles with his grades as he balances course work with basketball and a social life, but emerges having found a career path that flows from his interest in sports.

Yasmin, a high school overachiever like many of her peers of South Asian descent, gets A's and B's but feels like her grades aren't good, values social relationships over her mostly "boring" courses, and seems to relish her academic work only at the point (in her junior year) when she sees it as linked to her to her personal and family life.

Assessment Disconnect

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Annual gatherings of student learning experts and accrediting officials reveal lots of assessment activity on campuses. But policy makers ponder whether it adds up to meaningful national progress.

Measuring Student Learning, Globally

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OECD will develop international version of Collegiate Learning Assessment to gauge whether comparisons are valid across countries -- including the U.S.

Clash Over Student Privacy

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Head of Education Department's privacy office says he was fired for challenging U.S. approach to promoting state student data systems.

Student Data Systems, Unite!

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U.S.-convened panel of experts, Gates grant aim to help states develop common standards to share data; effort troubles privacy advocates.

Imperfect Accountability

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Voluntary systems crafted by colleges to respond to public demand for data fall well short of their stated goals, two advocacy groups argue.

Grades on the Rise

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A look at dozens of colleges finds averages up 0.1 points each decade.

New Battleground for Publishers

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With demand for online assessment and e-tutoring tools growing, good textbooks alone are no longer enough to win over professors.

Missed Connections

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Contradictions abound in the world of incoming community college students.

Most say they feel welcome at their institutions, but few receive information during orientation that is critical to their success. Most say they have the motivation and skills it takes to succeed, but these same students quickly adopt behaviors that are detrimental to their performance in the classroom. Most meet with academic advisers, but they do not always outline their academic goals and develop plans to accomplish them during these meetings.

No Letup From Washington

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CHICAGO -- If you closed your eyes and listened to the various highlighted speakers at the Higher Learning Commission's annual meeting here this week, you might have thought that Margaret Spellings and her outcomes-focused colleagues were still running the U.S. Education Department.


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