Executive Summary
A National Look at Regional Grade Averages
Report Card Ration and Regional Average Analysis
A National Look at State Input Effects on the Grades In Measuring Up 2000
Individual State Analysis: The Example of New Mexico
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Executive Summary

This report was created to generate ideas about the kinds of data that might be used to produce follow-up analyses of Measuring Up 2000: The State-by-State Report Card for Higher Education. The analysis attempts to represent report card data and related information graphically and mathematically in ways that might be useful to policymakers and higher education stakeholders who wish to understand national, regional, and ultimately state performance in higher education. The report intentionally moves from broad national and regional analysis to specific state analysis. For this reason, the analysis begins by depicting the grades in Measuring Up 2000 by region in tabular and graphical form. This introductory section is intended to be simple, displaying the data in ways that allow for comparison across regions by report card category.

The second section is more detailed and utilizes ratio analysis as a technique to interpret one grade relative to another. The goal is not to determine which components of analysis are worthy of further pursuit, but rather to create a starting point from which to initiate dialogue and analysis about additional supplementary report card information. The third section looks at two common state inputs to higher education: state appropriations and student aid. These inputs are analyzed within the context of the state grades in Measuring Up 2000.

The final section analyzes a sample state, New Mexico, using the preceding analyses. Several states have expressed interest in addressing their report card performance, so this section attempts to draw on the analytical ideas derived throughout the report to arrive at some policy recommendations for the sample state. The purpose of this section is to generate discussion about the type of information the National Center might provide in order to offer states guidance for report card improvement.

As the National Center continues to work on issues of affordability and to pursue ideas about individual state commentary, it is possible that some of the analysis contained in this report might further inform the work currently being done. Another possibility is that this exploratory report may be the springboard for additional ideas to help states improve higher education performance.

Finally, the information and analysis contained in this report expresses the sole work and interpretation of the author.


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