Transforming Higher Education: National Imperative--State Responsibility

National Conference of State Legislatures, Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education
October 2006

This twelve-page NCSL commission report diagnoses the ills and shortcomings of American higher education, and comes up with many of the same conclusions as several other recent reports (see here): we're no longer first in the world, not preparing people well for the challenges of the 21st century, too expensive, qualitatively uneven, etc. It then tasks states with responsibility for grappling with these challenges and "specifically calls upon legislators to seize the opportunity to lead the higher education reform movement in the states." Like the analysis of the problem, the fifteen recommendations that follow are mostly predictable, sound as far as they go, but so briefly and vaguely stated that they come across more as the table of contents for an action plan than anything truly actionable. The main thing you'll get from this one is evidence that, when it comes to U.S. higher education, the NCSL is thinking clearly. One wishes it offered more concrete advice to states that might actually want to do something. Read it here.

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