Identifying Performance Gaps and Stimulating Action to Improve
Results Across the 50 States

In November 2000, the National Center published Measuring Up 2000, the state-by-state report card that comprehensively compares the 50 states on their performance in higher education. The purpose of Measuring Up is to stimulate the improvement of state policies that enhance opportunity and achievement in higher education. The report card, which will be updated in 2002 and 2004, provides state leaders with an important diagnostic tool to measure and improve performance in higher education. As a widely disseminated, easily understood, objective framework for discussion, Measuring Up also serves as a catalyst for constructive change.

Measuring Up 2000 grades states on those higher education issues that are most important to our democracy: the opportunity to seek and successfully achieve quality education after high school, up to and including the bachelor's degree. These issues include:

  • Preparation: How well does each state prepare its youth to be eligible for and to benefit from higher education?
  • Participation: Does each state provide adequate opportunity to enroll in postsecondary education?
  • Affordability: How affordable is higher education for students and their families in each state?
  • Completion: Do enough students in each state persist toward and complete their certificates and degrees?
  • Benefits: What are the economic and civic benefits that each state accrues as a result of having a highly educated population?
State grades are based on quantitative performance measures, with results compared to the highest performing states so as to establish high, yet reachable standards of performance. Measuring Up also provides an overview of national findings and contextual information about each state.