Julia Freeland Fisher, education expert and director of education research at the Clayton Christensen Institute, believes the current direction of education reform rhetoric is misplaced. While the presidential candidates showcase plans to help people afford college, it’s not just tuition costs that are the problem; it’s that the underlying higher education business model is broken.
Fisher says, “To support sustained economic growth, America sorely needs a new vision for the future of learning that will prepare students for a new economy. To get there, the next president will have to embrace fundamental shifts in funding and delivering learning.” Those shifts include moves to nontraditional post-secondary institutions and competency-based primary school assessments:
- Alternative credential systems that can compete with traditional universities: “Until we spearhead new business models for post-secondary training and credentialing and align those programs to labor market demand, tuition will remain exorbitant relative to the benefits of a traditional degree.”
- A more effective use of technology in the classroom: ”Schools can leverage technology to deliver content and assess understanding in a manner that is personalized to each student’s pace, path, needs, and strengths.”
- An overhaul of education accountability: “K-12 education accountability should accommodate — rather than hamstring — our ability to assess students based on their individual mastery of academic material, rather than just their age or grade.”