Scorecards in Education
Schools cannot be rated in a simple way. This is a fact and it arises from the complex nature of education. The College Scorecard launched by the Obama administration is an example of a measure that places so much on a few numbers:
As an example, the following are the results one retrieves for Georgetown University (Date retrieved 7 August 2013):
The employment numbers are not available yet, but one gets the idea that the scheme is basically weighing only the financial aspect of a college education. There is no indicator here that deals with student satisfaction and the intangible values of a liberal and general education. Although employment data are not yet available, it is worrisome that such measure may be biased toward colleges that tend to send students directly into employment. There are colleges that instill a mission of service to others and therefore tend to send students into volunteer work and low paying jobs. There are colleges that also inspire students to do graduate work and these students usually take five to ten years before entering the employment force. College education should not really be reduced to how much one can earn after getting a degree. In addition, the College Scorecard uses an average number for costs, the average net price. This is the average cost a student pays after removing grants and financial aid. For Georgetown, the College Scorecard lists $26,500. The tuition alone at Georgetown currently for a full-time student is $44,000. The average number obviously does not provide information on how much an individual student on grant or financial aid needs to pay although it should be obvious that it is a lot less than $26,500.
Incidentally, a similar measure is being drafted in the Philippines. The BusinessWorld Online reports: