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Can Academic Arts Instruction Survive the “Iron Cage of Accountability?”

  • September 8, 2011
  • By a2ru      
In his famous book on capitalism, Max Weber warned that our modern world would increasingly be driven by endless attempts at measurement, accountability, efficiency, and control.


 

From Inside Higher Education:

In his famous book on capitalism, Max Weber warned that our modern world would increasingly be driven by endless attempts at measurement, accountability, efficiency, and control. These efforts would trap us, he cautioned, in an “iron cage” of rationality that precluded other ways of assessing value and setting policy – like intuition, tradition, imagination, values and personal meaning.

In this spirit of measurement and accountability, the U.S. Department of Education is bringing unprecedented scrutiny to the increasing cost of higher education, which has exceeded the CPI (Consumer Price Index) annually for most of the last 20 years. The Bush Administration’s “Spellings Commission” report argues that higher education suffers from “inadequate attention to cost measurement and cost management” and that “new performance benchmarks should be designed to measure and improve productivity and efficiency.” The report’s recommendations were carried out in the 2008 Higher Education Act, when Congress required the Education Department to develop metrics to rank and assess universities and colleges based on costs and financial aid, and to provide a variety of other consumer information.

Click on the citation below to read the entire article.

Dempster, Douglas  and Tepper, Steven J. “Iron Cage of Accountability.” Inside Higher Education: July 26, 2011.