Here is what Mark says about it:
I like what Eric wrote about lifelong learners. We do need to be able to see which programs are producing life-long learners, and this should be the very first thing we try to measure, however we go about it.
I’m seeing some frightening drops in enrollments at the university level. Why is that happening? Arne Duncan himself is aware that 82% of all Americans are monolingual. I asked a colleague today whose wife is from West Africa, where educational resources are dwarfed by Northern industrialized societies, what the percentage of monolinguals was there. 20% was his estimate. Why do we think that pouring more resources into testing will solve our problem? Is that what they do in West Africa? Do we believe that more testing in our universities will up the enrollments there?
Eric says, “Unfortunately, “rigor” has been confused with ideas such as “they must do a lot of homework” and “it should be hard” and “not everyone should be able to successfully acquire a foreign language.” It may be an unfortunate, anti-intellectual, and tough truth to swallow, but the trappings of academia have done little to advance the causes of second language acquisition in the US.