June 6, 2007

Learning Curves: Exploring Issues In Education - Higher Education at Lower Costs

Antony Davies

Senior Affiliated Scholar

     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.