Posts published in May, 2012

Graduates of For-Profits Lag Behind Their Peers in Earnings and Employment

For-profit colleges do a good job of retaining students in their first year and getting them to finish, but these students also tend to fare worse than similar students at community colleges and public and private nonprofit institutions, according to a new study. Six years after they enter college, students from for-profit institutions are employed at lower rates and earn less than their peers. Source:ECS

Mixed Review For California Grade 11 College Readiness Assessment

People interested in grade 11 college ready testing will benefit from the publication of a new PACE report: California’s Early Assessment Program: Its Effectiveness and the Obstacles to Successful Program Implementation.  The Early Assessment Program (EAP) has emerged as a national model for states seeking to design policies that increase the number of students who leave high school ready for college and careers.  In addition, the two national consortia designing new assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards have recognized the EAP as a model for the design of new high school assessments, which California will implement in 2014-15.  The report was written by Hilary McLean of Capitol Impact, LLC.

The report describes the key features of the EAP, with a particular focus on the ways in which the program can help to strengthen coherence and alignment in California’s fragmented educational system.  The report reviews the available research on the EAP and its impact on student access and success in post-secondary education, and identifies ways in which the program could be modified to increase its value to California students and educators.


California’s Early Assessment Program: Its Effectiveness and the Obstacles to Successful Program Implementation

8 Reasons Exams May Be All Wrong


This is a provoctive article that makes some interesting and stimulating points   (

Lumping African Americans And Hispanics Leads To Misleading Analyses

Not one and the same
In an article in USA TODAY, Richard Whitmire writes that data indicate we should stop lumping blacks and Hispanics together as “students of color,” both in terms of how we measure progress and in terms of policy, since the groups have different education needs. Whitmire cites several sets of college-readiness data: Between 2002 and 2011, the percentage of black students taking the ACT who met all readiness benchmarks rose from 3 percent to 4 percent. Among Hispanic students, it rose from 8 percent to 11 percent. In 2010, black students made up 14.6 percent of high school graduates, but only 8.6 percent of AP test-takers. By contrast, Hispanics made up 17 percent of graduates and 16 percent of test-takers. This Hispanic-black separation can be seen within individual school districts; whether on state reading and math tests or district “exit” exams, Hispanic students have been making faster progress. Why? According to Amy Wilkins of the Education Trust, African-American students are more socially and economically isolated, less likely to get strong teachers, and less likely to go to better-funded majority-white schools. Recent research also shows that many successful all-black schools build school culture based on social justice, and employ highly structured curricula that emphasize verbal instruction. Successful Hispanic schools more often base school culture on connections to family, with an unstructured curriculum emphasizing visual instruction. For these and other reasons, Whitmire would dispense with the monolithic “students of color” category.
Source PEN Newsblast

States Cut Back On Lottery Based Student Aid

States Seek Ways to Trim Scholarships
The majority of states that followed Georgia’s lead in creating lottery-funded state scholarships now are coming up with policies to deal with increasing demand and declining revenues. Over the last several years, all the states have implemented some limit on years or credit hours to address the revenue-versus-demand problem. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, 05/01/12)

Colleges Report Much Better Results In Access Compared To Success

In 2007 — long before President Obama pushed to make college attainment a national priority and three years before the phrase “completion agenda” first appeared in these pages — a group of public university systems put themselves on the spot. Working with (and to some extent prodded by) Education Trust, which promotes the educational success of low-income and minority students, the 22 systems of two-year and four-year colleges and universities committed to increasing their attainment levels, in large part by closing the gaps in performance between underrepresented students and their peers within a decade. And they committed, too, to documenting their progress by collecting and publicly reporting detailed (and in some cases, previously unreported) data on student access and success. A report, released this week, provides a look mid-point.  The article is in Inside Higher Ed and circulated by Carnegie Foundation

USA Drops Again In International Rankings Of College Completion

A new report from the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success finds that as other countries have increased their postsecondary attainment, the United States has fallen to 15th place among 34 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries in the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds with an Associate’s level college degree or higher. Today, over half of young adults in leading OECD countries — Canada, South Korea, and Japan — have college degrees, compared to 41 percent in the United States. At current rates of attainment, the United States will fall short of its goals by tens of millions of postsecondary credentials over the next couple of decades. Despite this, federal policymakers continue to trim grants awarded to students. The proportion of state budgets devoted to postsecondary education has fallen by more than 13 percent since 1990. A 60-percent credential attainment would produce significant economic returns to individuals, states, and the nation by 2025. Average annual per-capita income would increase by approximately $1,400 by 2025. Federal revenue of $67 billion in 2025 would be about six times higher than the estimated postsecondary costs of $9.8 billion, and state revenue of $64 billion would be triple the estimated state postsecondary costs of $21 billion.
Read more:

Source:PEN Newsblat

A New Defense Of The 3 Year College Degree.

by Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President Emeritis, The George Washington University, and Gerald B. Kauvar, Research Professor of public policy and public administration, The George Washington University

Because of increased financial constraints on all State supported and most independent colleges and universities one reads and hears more and more about the wisdom of fully utilizing existing facilities in order to lower costs and expand access. Legislators and institutional leaders are climbing on the bandwagon. More and more institutions are exploring ways or exploiting existing ways to encourage students to complete their degrees rapidly. Opportunities for earning a degree in three years are being publicized and encouraged by college counselors and publicists, and media pundits.

A couple of years ago, we published an op-ed piece in the New York Times which argued for better utilization of our post-secondary institutions by using facilities on a year around basis. For many students, so doing would enlarge the possibilities to earn a degree in three years – not all students, but many students. And they would save a bit of money by foregoing any tuition increase that would become effective in the fourth year.

The op-ed piece we wrote was widely criticized, though rarely for anything we stated or implied in the article. READ MORE….


Community College Reports Worth Reading

  • Learning Communities for Students in Developmental English: Impact Studies at Merced College and The Community College of Baltimore County (National Center for Postsecondary Research)
  • Remediation: Higher Education’s Bridge to Nowhere (Complete College America)  Source:ECS

Big Business Recognizes Importance Of Access Postsecondary, And Its Low Performance

Yesterday,  the Committee for Economic Development (CED) began a national campaign to get business leaders involved in postsecondary education reform. CED released Boosting Postsecondary Education Performance, a report with data that underscore this urgency. The CED report concentrates on those “broad-access” institutions that will bear much of the burden when it comes to providing postsecondary education to most Americans. CED’s goal is to help build stronger connections between postsecondary education and the American business community in order to drive the needed structural reforms throughout this vital sector of American education.

Source:Carnegie Foundation