Garrison Walters offers colleges and their leaders some things to think about as they weigh presidential perks. To wit, rationalization is the road to ruin, and if you really want art, buy it yourself. You can afford it.
Colleges and universities have come under relentless pressure from lawmakers and the public about retention and graduation issues, and demands for accountability based on graduation rates have increased across the country. Higher education even faces the possibility of standardized achievement testing, which has made life at the K-12 level miserable for teachers without necessarily improving student learning.
The latest exhibit in an increasingly frustrating pattern of eroding public trust is that of the College Board's misrepresentation of 4,000 students' SAT scores. The fact that the mistake occurred, while significant and unfortunate, is not really at the heart of the public's concern. As the College Board stated in its initial press release, the students affected by this error represent only eight-tenths of one percent of the more than 400,000 students who took the test in October.