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Report Round-Up

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August 05, 2011 02:45 pm

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Here are some of the education-related reports that were released this week. Feel free to add any that we missed in the comments section.

The Public Weighs In on School ReformHarvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and Education Next

This report is based on a nationally representative sample of some 2,600 American citizens during April and May of 2011. In addition to the views of the public as a whole, the report pays special attention to two potentially influential types of participants in school politics: the affluent and teachers. The authors believe that this is the first survey of a nationally representative sample of affluent Americans, defined as college graduates who are in the top income decile in their state. The report argues that both the affluent and teachers pay more attention to public education and participate more actively in school politics than the general public, making their views worthy of close scrutiny.

The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime EarningsThe Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

This report examines factors affecting an individual’s potential earnings over a lifetime, including education, age, race/ethnicity, and gender. It finds that individuals with Bachelor’s degrees earn 84 percent more over a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma, a rise from 75 percent in 1999. The report also includes a detailed table of 300 occupations and their earnings at each level of education.

Debt to Degree: A New Way of Measuring College SuccessEducation Sector

This report examines two problems plaguing the American higher education system: dropouts and debt. It notes that the federal government has tracked these issues separately by calculating for each college the total number of degrees awarded, the percentage of students who graduate on time, and the percentage of students who default on their loans. However, it argues that none of these statistics present a complete picture and suggests an alternative that accounts for the total amount of money borrowed by undergraduates divided by the total number of degrees awarded. It finds that for-profit colleges are racking up far more student debt per degree than others while some elite colleges and universities are making good on their pledge to help low- and middle-income students graduate without major financial burdens while others are not.

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