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Stopping the Buck: Selections from From the States

Peter T. Ewell (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-09964-3
96 pages
July 2011, Jossey-Bass
Stopping the Buck: Selections from From the States (1118099648) cover image
A unique, state-by-state look at two decades of progress and practices in higher education assessment

Specially selected from the archives of the award-winning journal Assessment Update, the articles gathered together in Stopping the Buck offer readers a unique opportunity to take a deep, historical look at outcomes assessment in higher education as it has evolved over the past several decades. Written by Peter Ewell, author of the pioneering work in the field, it tracks, on a state-by-state basis, progress, trends, and practices in outcomes assessment among institutions of higher learning since the 1990s, a time when diminished funding and increased demand for accountability shifted the focus to performance indicators and institutional comparisons.

  • Examines the evolution of higher education assessment in the 1990s, with special attention given to the emergence of pay-for-performance in many states, and the various reasons why it failed in most cases
  • Chronicles the rise of regional and national initiatives and the concomitant diminishment of state authority in assessment
  • Offers the author's informed conclusions and forecasts on the current and future state of assessment to provides policymakers with valuable insights to help them with the decisions they face, now and in the years ahead

Both sobering and hopeful, Stopping the Buck provides readers with invaluable information and guidance on specific areas of assessment—gathered together for the first time in a single, easy-reference format.

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Introduction—Stopping the Buck: Selections from "From the States" 1

State-Level Assessment (1989–1998) 3

Introduction to the Series 3

Assessment in Virginia: A State Profile 5

Assessment in New Jersey: A State Profile 7

Assessment in Florida: Review of the CLAST Testing Program 10

Assessment in Colorado: A State Profile 12

Assessment in South Dakota: A State Profile 14

Assessment in Tennessee: A State Profile 16

Assessment in Hard Times: A Tale of Two States 19

Statewide Testing: The Sequel 22

Performance Indicators and Performance Funding (1989–2000) 27

Performance Indicators: A New Round of Accountability 28

Performance Funding: New Variations on a Theme 30

Putting It All on the Line: South Carolina's Performance Funding Initiative 33

Implementing Performance Funding in Washington State: Some New Takes on an Old Problem 36

Accountability with a Vengeance: New Mandates in Colorado 41

Smoke Signals from the Hills of Texas 46

New Looks in Performance Measures: Indicator Systems in Two States 51

Beyond the States (2002–2009) 57

Taking Stock of Accreditation Reform 57

Looking Back on "The Year of Accountability" 63

Accreditation in the Hot Seat 68

Rising to the Occasion: The Alliance for New Leadership for Student Learning and Accountability 73

Some Final Reflections 78

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Peter T. Ewell, Vice President of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, is a consulting editor for Assessment Update.
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