Education: Bringing Colleges Under Fire

A federal panel charges that quality and focus are slipping

Last year the nation's schools were hit by a devastating report from U.S. Secretary of Education Terrel Bell calling for a spectrum of reforms to turn what was described as education's "tide of mediocrity." Now America's 3,300 universities and colleges are getting their turn under fire. The National Institute of Education, Bell's research arm, has issued a 99-page sequel every bit as rough as the blast leveled at the schools.

The strongest indictment: colleges do not involve new students in the learning process and keep them involved. "Only half of those who...

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