Thursday, February 23, 2012

Education:  Improving Higher Education

More regulations ...

Access to college has been the driving force in federal higher education policy for decades. But the Obama administration is pushing a fundamental agenda shift that aggressively brings a new question into the debate: What are people getting for their money?
He wants to slightly reduce federal aid for schools that don't control tuition costs and shift it to those that do. He also has proposed an $8 billion program to train community college students for high-growth industries that would provide financial incentives to programs that ensured their trainees find work. Both proposals need congressional approval.

At the same time, the administration is developing both a "scorecard" for use in comparing school statistics such as graduation rates as well as a "shopping sheet" students would receive from schools they applied to with estimates of how much debt they might graduate with and estimated future payments on student loans.

Historically, policy conversations have centered on getting students into college. [Education Secretary Arne] Duncan said graduating is just as important.

"To be real clear, I think that's been the problem with federal policy in the past is 100% has been focused on the front end on inputs, that's clearly important, but that's the starting point. That gets you in the game. The goal isn't to get to the game, the goal is to get to the finish line," Duncan said.

For more, see Obama Takes Tougher Stance on Higher Education by The Associated Press, February 20, 2012 at NYTimes.com.

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