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March 25, 2003

Getting Better Now

The National Collaborative for Postsecondary Education Policy


Three higher education organizations are mounting a collaborative effort to help states improve higher education policies in light of the results they are achieving.

The Education Commission of the States (ECS), the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (NCPPHE) - organizations with extensive experience working with state policymakers on goal-setting, evaluation, and policy development - will invite an initial group of states to undertake examinations of their higher education policies. They will assist the states in modifying policies in order to improve results.

The starting point for the analysis will be Measuring Up 2002, the second national report card issued by the NCPPHE.

Together, the organizations will help states analyze data from the national report card; surveys of adult literacy, current students, and alumni; and other information like college-going and persistence rates. The partners will work with leaders of the executive and legislative branches, business, and higher education and the public schools. They will help to analyze results by regions of the state and by types of higher education institutions, as well as by race, sex, socio-economic status and other population characteristics.

The partners will invite four to six states to participate during the first three years of the project. ECS, with its extensive network of state connections, will help states share their experiences. It will encourage every state to undertake a similar review during the next several years. While the history, political culture, and population and economic characteristics of each state are distinctive, there are many common factors and shared concerns. A clearinghouse will make information about what states are doing available across the country.

The collaborative will be coordinated by ECS, a state-based organization that regularly convenes state leaders to consider policy issues. ECS will maintain the clearinghouse and provide support to states seeking to strengthen higher education systems. The NCPPHE will continue its effort to stimulate change and improvement in higher education, both nationally and within individual states. Its report card compares states' performance to give leaders a sense for how well they are doing. NCHEMS is a leading provider of data-driven policy analysis for states, colleges and universities, associations, and national governments. It is developing a comprehensive database that can be used by states in reviewing and improving state policies.

Gordon K. Davies will direct the collaborative effort. Davies has served as head of higher education systems in Virginia and Kentucky during the past 25 years.

For Additional Information on the National Collaborative, please contact:
Terese Rainwater
Project Manager, The National Collaborative for Postsecondary Education Policy
Telephone Number: 303-299-3640
Email: trainwater@ecs.org

For more information about the partnering organizations, please go to:

The Education Commission of the States (www.ecs.org)
The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (www.nchems.org)
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (www.highereducation.org)

Also see:
Missouri First State Chosen in Higher Education Study: http://go.missouri.gov/press/press031703.htm

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