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I am sure we all know the answer – self-preservation.

A commentary on Obama’s higher ed plan includes the following:

What this leaves undone

As explained above, this doesn’t include important granular data of the kind the Wyden-Rubio bill would mandate released. But it also doesn’t include perhaps the most important data for any rankings system: data on whether students are actually learning.

As New America’s Kevin Carey has often pointed out, schools’ scores on two widely used assessments of student learning — the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) — are rarely made public, even though when they are, the results are frequently quite surprising. “The best Texas university by [the CLA] isn’t the flagship, highly ranked UT-Austin campus,” Carey writes. “The biggest gains are occurring at UT-San Antonio, UT-El Paso, and UT-Permian Basin, all of which are at the bottom of the U.S. News rankings.”

Understandably, schools are terrified about that data getting out. But in a world where individual teachers’ test scores are splayed across the pages of the Los Angeles Times, the fact that even the most basic college learning data is still private is a scandal.