I've been following the Wisconsin union-busting legislation and protest, and as I read Dean Dad's article and comments on it, it's striking that it simply doesn't matter whether educators (K-12 to college) can prove they're doing a great job or not. "Accountability" is largely an excuse for what legislators want to do with budgets. Institutions dependent on government funding are prostrate because conservative politicians don't think taxes should be distributed from the wealthy to the needy. Most colleges, as far as I'm aware, already have administrative titles like "director of institutional effectiveness." In the flood of shrinking budgets, accountability is a pretext and not a real reason to defund. Further, no one, as far as I'm aware, questions whether the best higher education institutions really have very different outcomes. (As we all know, US News & World Report judges based on selectivity, not student learning.) When the budgets were flush, legislators were willing to pump IHEs full of money to improve research, not student learning, because that's what builds prestige, not something so mundane as student learning. That we can adjunct out.
No profanes - sacred