OECD Education Policy Outlook 2015 explained the importance of reform and the evaluation process in higher education. I find evaluation fascinating and I like how this reading in particular spoke about evaluation and assessment in terms of policy. In order to explore and reform higher education through policy the reading states building systems are important. In this reading systems are explained as needed for governance and funding. I think this is very important for integration and tracking institutional data. Similar to the implantation of CUNYfirst for all CUNY schools it provides structure and objectives through data.

The State of Higher Education 2014 published by OECD states changes experienced by systems brings forth broader access, greater diversity of study, and students with a “broader spread of institutions’ social missions”. In terms of policy it is explained that the federal government should support states and school districts in developing systems. Form what I read online states lack support from the government. Governmental support or an educational system centralized to the institution type and sectors established by the government can be a little difficult to achieve. I understand that the creation of educational systems need support from the government, however, wouldn’t this mean that the government will take charge of the operations and managing of the system?

Building Capacity for Systems Change: A Federal Policy Framework for Competency Education: http://www.knowledgeworks.org/building-capacity-systems-change-federal-policy-framework-competency-education

3 thoughts on “W7, systems, operation, data

  1. Hi Zeline,
    As you mention in your post “systems are explained as needed for governance and funding” I agree with this but the systems that are put in place need to work properly. CUNYfirst was meant to be the answer for all things, related to CUNY but as we now know, there has been many issues with that system. So as much as we would like to use it for data collection and analyze, can we really trust it.


    Also to answer the question you pose at the end of your post, I think that government involved is needed to an extent. I think it is important to for all parties or stakeholders to understand their role and how they will be involved. If the federal government is supporting states and school districts in developing systems, it could lead to them taking over or it could lead to a country wide policy/system and would that be that bad ?

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more about the ability to assess through the use of data. All too often, programs fall prey to a poisonous lethargy- they just do what they have to without trying to improve. Maybe it’s bad leadership, inexperienced staff, or simply complacency. Regardless of the reasoning, international education programs (and all programs) must have systems in place to track activity. Yes, software costs money, but the potential benefits are great. Additionally, all institutions have ‘institutional research’ departments, and I am always curious as to what they actually do there. How can they gather data when there isn’t any data being provided, or the data that exists is shoddy? And then to think that policies are being developed from this unreliable information? That’s pretty frightening. I’m ranting a little, I know, but it is always shocking to see how high-level administrators allocate funding in the budget. Some good tracking systems would be pretty useful, if you ask me.

  3. I agree with both you and Ben! All programs need systems in place to track activity. In many cases I have seen senior leadership ask for number that their divisions simply did not track for. It may be for a new mandate from the city, or in some cases the government. Either way, in the cases I have seen, leadership was ignorant (or feigned ignorance) to the fact that certain tracking was needed for their areas.

    For example, in the COPE program they monitor students that receive public assistance. The COPE director enforced that her staff regularly accounted for public assistance documents, W2’s of parents and students, work sites, internship sites, and they even tracked student job placements for up to 5 years. Other departments like Career Services whose directors attended regular meetings with COPE directors and have similar roles with different populations, may have had an inkling that this type of tracking was coming down the pike but they did not prepare for it. Therefore, when it was asked for, it was not available and they were scrambling to find a system, or hire someone to get the information.

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