President Obama announced in August that the Department of Education would be creating the Postsecondary Institution Rating System (PIRS), a new rating system for colleges. The Department of Education issued a request for ideas on how to design and implement the PIRS. This series of blogs posts is adapted from the comment we plan to submit. Last week, we presented our recommendations for the new federal college rating system; this post details how we constructed our system.
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6 Feb 2014
The Washington Post conducted a fascinating analysis last week of how much time President Obama devoted in his State of the Union Address to each of his main policy concerns. In this blog post, Peter Cookson suggests that the President spent so much time discussing education and equality of opportunity because years of education are highly correlated to higher incomes and more secure employment—the gateways to equality of opportunity.
5 Feb 2014
Parents and students want to know: Who or what is to blame for the skyrocketing (up 50 percent in 10 years) cost of a college education? In this blog post, Donna Desrochers delves into a new analysis from AIR’s Delta Cost Project that breaks down staffing and compensation changes in higher education and sheds new light on the role of administrative bloat.
4 Feb 2014
Many schools across America must take the budget bull by the horns and decide whether cutting class size is the right way to do it. In this blog post, Michael Hansen suggests how creating larger classes with smart teacher-assignment policies, may make students better off while simultaneously reducing costs.
30 Jan 2014
In his 1964 State of the Union Address, President Johnson launched the War on Poverty, beginning with these words: “I will be brief, for our time is necessarily short and our agenda is already long.” In this blog post, Peter Cookson argues that progress has been made, and that technology, a new spirit of commitment to greater equality, and deeper research have given us new tools with which to tackle poverty; we need only find the will and a way of working together for the greater good.
29 Jan 2014
Systems to rate the quality of child care and preschool programs are in place or under development in 49 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. In this blog post, Laura Hawkinson and Karen Manship explain that, until validation and evaluation studies are complete, states' varying systems make it hard for parents to fully understand the ratings.
29 Jan 2014
Throughout the State of the Union address last night, there was a renewed emphasis on the link between career success and education—from Pre-K through college. This blog post highlights AIR's work in many of the areas highlighted by the President.
10 Jan 2014
A decade ago, the U.S. Department of Education began reporting “Student Right To Know” graduation rates for America’s colleges and universities. While this federally mandated measure is flawed, it still captures the completion statistics of one of the nation’s largest groups of students. As this blog post shows, the news isn’t good; since accreditation is one of American higher education’s key gate-keeping mechanisms, maybe we should be more concerned about whether students graduate and rethink accrediting these failure factories.
7 Jan 2014
A major theme addressed by President Obama is improving low-income students’ access to the nation’s most prestigious campuses. This goal is wrapped in “undermatching”—the idea that low-income students are not applying to the more selective colleges they could attend. But, as this blog post explains, perhaps the more important goal is improving the success of graduates from broad-access institutions.
17 Dec 2013
According to an AIR analysis of data from U.S. Department of Education’s early childhood longitudinal studies, America’s public school kindergarten has become dramatically more academic. In this blog post, Jill Walston and Kristin Flanagan describe the data and ask how this affects children who don't have the opportunity to attend a high-quality preschool.