Friday, November 1, 2013

Student ratings cause harm

“When Students Rate Professors, Standards Drop,” says a headline in Monday’s Wall Street Journal. In the accompanying opinion piece, English professor Lyell Asher argues that student ratings lead to relaxed standards. Asher suggests that administrators don’t want to acknowledge, let alone solve, the problem. “They’re focused on retention and graduation rates, both of which they assume might suffer if the college required more of its students.” Asher says universities should vow to do no harm and should “decouple faculty wages and job security from student opinion.”

I made the same points ten years ago in an article reporting my survey of legal writing professors. But little has changed, probably for the reasons Asher identifies. 

 Hat tip: Ralph Brill


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