New report reveals state policy can do better in helping people get a postsecondary education

Helping mostates-fail-higher educationre people get a postsecondary education is still a national challenge, one in which states are failing. However, thanks to a new report based on years of data, there are six distinct steps states can take immediately to help improve higher education.

States are failing to help people obtain a postsecondary education because they “have no plan for improvement,” says the report, “Renewing the Promise: State Policies to Improve Higher Education Performance,” by the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE).

The wide-ranging study takes more than ten years of fragmented state higher education data, augmented by interviews with state policymakers, and synthesizes a series of policy recommendations relevant to all states.

“Governors, legislators and higher education leaders need to work together on a public agenda for higher education or fewer people will participate in and graduate with workforce certificates or college degrees,” said Joni Finney, one of the authors of the report.

And although the federal government plays an important role in higher education, notes the report, “…states bear the primary responsibility for developing their own public higher education systems, including policies for funding and governing higher education and for connecting higher education with public schools.”

(Next page: State recommendations 1-3)


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