Have you heard of PBF? Not PB-R but PB-F as in Frank.

It stands for Performance Based Funding and it’s used to measure institutions of higher education.

The idea is to reward efficient campuses and punish others.

Proponents claim PBF 2.0 is innovative and 3.0 is just over the horizon.

Do we need such complex language to talk about education? Is someone hoping ordinary people will tune out? Does a phrase like Performance Based Funding allow a few people to control decisions in the way that earlier slogans – No Child Left Behind comes to mind – shaped K-12?

In fact, none other than Margaret Spellings, will push PBF at the UNC Board of Governors meeting.

A fancy report that says the next cool metric is “degree completion.” Measuring access is outdated.

I ask you:  Are we ready to abandon a focus on access?

There’s a sinister rationale for PBF clearly stated on page 12.

PBF “may be a politically expedient means of defunding public education.”

Did you get that? State legislators will have neutral-sounding metrics to justify slashing UNC budgets.

— Altha Cravey


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