Transparency and its rewards

Ready to Assemble: A Model State Higher Education Accountability System
Kevin Carey and Chad Aldeman
Education Sector, 2008

Today’s colleges and universities are plagued by a host of problems that have proven as lasting as the institution of higher education itself: At a time when college degrees are increasingly a prerequisite for middle-class wages, less than 40 percent of college students are able to demonstrate proficiency on literacy tests, barely half of college students graduate on time, and many don’t graduate at all.1 Meanwhile, the price of college is growing by leaps and bounds. To address these problems, colleges and universities need to pay far more attention to the core task of educating their students well.

But higher education has surprisingly few incentives to provide an affordable, high-quality education to all students. Funding is based on how many students enroll, not how many graduate. Prestige is tied to how smart students are when they begin as freshmen, not how much they learn before they leave. Fame, wealth, and research prowess contribute far more to institutional status than student learning. If these incentives don’t change, colleges won’t change either. As a result, policymakers who want to fix the many problems of American higher education need to gather much more information about college student outcomes, release the results to consumers and the general public, create explicit, mission-driven performance goals for institutions, and financially reward colleges and universities that excel. In other words, policymakers need to create stronger accountability systems..”

Charting the future–caught on video!

Education Sector

“Education Sector is an independent think tank that challenges conventional thinking in education policy. We are a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to achieving measurable impact in education policy, both by improving existing reform initiatives and by developing new, innovative solutions to our nation’s most pressing education problems.

The ultimate beneficiaries of our work are students. Our mission is to promote changes in policy and practice that lead to improved student opportunities and outcomes.”

“Charting the Future of Higher Education” event September 15, 2011

Lumina Foundation’s Jamie Merisotis talks about how the ideas laid out in Washington Monthly’s 2011 College Guide may help the United States achieve greater global competitiveness in higher education.

Kevin Carey talks about the outdated process by which students make a match to colleges.

ConnectEdu’s Craig Powell says “where you go to college has very little to do with your lifetime success.”

Other related Education Sector video clips