It's far from clear, at this relatively early stage, whether the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education will go the legislative route to pursue whatever changes its members desire. But if the panel chooses to do so, it will almost certainly need the help of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the former U.S. education secretary and University of Tennessee president who heads the Senate's education subcommittee.
It is supposed to be a boon for colleges and students, the one major provision in federal legislation to reduce the budget deficit that makes it easier for higher education to swallow the unpalatable parts of the bill that cut benefits to students. After all, the proposed program would provide $3.75 billion in grant aid for students, a rare injection of new federal funds into higher education at a time of fiscal austerity and budget slashing.
In an effort to shed light on the hows and whys behind students’ success at completing college, the U.S. Education Department has released a new report called “The Toolbox Revisited.”
The longitudinal study, which its author calls a “data essay,” explores the high school class of 1992 as it moved from high school to higher education and compares its success, favorably, to the high school class of 1982 tracked in an earlier report, “Answers in the Tool Box.”