Learning Curves: Exploring Issues in Education

Jun 06, 2007Jun 08, 2007
B-339 Rayburn House Office Building

Event Video


Session 1: Wednesday, June 6th
Higher Education at Lower Costs
Dr. Antony Davies 
Associate Professor of Economics
Duquesne University 

Click Here to view Dr. Davies' presentation.

Session 2:  Thursday, June 7th
A Lesson in Accountability:
 What America Learned in the
Five Years Since No Child Left Behind

Dr. Paul E. Peterson
Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government, HarvardUniversity  
Director, Program on Education Policy and Governance
Editor-in-Chief, Education Next

School might be out for summer but the 110th Congress is hard at work to reform various aspects of the American education system.  At the forefront of these reforms are the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and a comprehensive restructuring of the higher education loan system.  Although NCLB now reports to offer a more accountable public education system, foreign students continue to outpace American students in all subjects.  Moreover, there appears to be variation among states standards in NCLB, inaccurate information within states, and confusion within state accountability systems.  With regard to higher education, policy makers have already begun to craft policy designed to make college more affordable.  Suggested reforms, for example, include increasing Pell Grants, cutting student loan rates, and restricting tuition growth.  All the while, universities continue to report that undergraduates are unprepared for college classes while tuition is rising at a much faster rate than inflation.   

 Over this two-day discussion, Dr. Antony Davies from Duquesne University and Dr. Paul Peterson from Harvard University shall explore the following questions: 

·         What is the source of pain in higher education and which of these reforms best addresses
          the pain? 

·         What is different in higher education today versus a generation ago?  Are there lessons here
          for public education?

·         What are the tradeoffs (costs and benefits) of a college education?

·         How effective is the penalty mechanism of NCLB and is it being enforced?

·         What are the positive outcomes of NCLB?

·         Are there alternative policy models that address the standardization problems of NCLB?