This report proposes data analysis to supplement Measuring Up 2000: The State-by-State Report Card for Higher Education. The approach taken throughout this report is to combine report card data in different ways graphically and mathematically to reveal illuminating "views" of the data. The purpose is to generate ideas, not provide a final analysis. As a result, the reader may determine that certain analyses may be more useful than others.
The focus of this report is ultimately the states. However, national and regional data have been included as important components of the analysis so that states may develop a relative perspective of their performance.
Any single graphic, ratio, or grade by itself may contain a degree of ambiguity or be subject to multiple interpretations. Therefore, any assumptions in this report regarding data analysis and presentation are explained in the text itself, or the reader will be explicitly directed to an appendix. State groupings for regional analysis are based on the groupings used by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, but other variations of these groupings could be created easily. In addition, the design of this report uses the state of New Mexico as its sample state for analysis in Section IV.
The analysis for this exploratory work was guided by two overarching questions: (1) How can the data be depicted to give a comparative yet specific view of state and regional performance? (2) How can the data be mathematically combined in a simple fashion to generate additional insight into state and regional performance?
1.The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (San Jose: 2000).