Coming Oct. 13: A Look at President Obama’s Proposed College Ratings System
Community college leaders continue to raise concerns about President Obama’s proposed college ratings system
With the first draft of President Obama’s proposed college ratings system due to be released within weeks, community college leaders continue to raise concerns about the plan. It’s intended to slow the rapid rise in college costs by rating colleges on things such as tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of lower-income students who attend. Community college leaders have questioned the utility of the plan from the beginning, noting that their students’ choice of college is usually based on more mundane factors such as geography. They are not alone in their opposition, which has also has come from Congress on both sides of the partisan divide. Foes of the ratings fear the plan will morph into a rankings plan, despite assurances from the Education Department that it has no intention of grading colleges, publishing a list or comparing colleges to one another. Community colleges also are concerned the plan will evolve into a pay-for-performance system under which high performers would get bonuses, and their students would receive larger federal grants, while poorer performers would be sanctioned. As the plan take shape, we take a look at what community colleges are thinking about this watershed plan.