Turning the Tables on Higher Ed Grades

The grades are in — for Indiana’s public colleges and universities. The "teacher" in this case is the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce. Its Leaders & Laggards report evaluates states in 11 categories.

Derek Redelman, Indiana Chamber vice president of education and workforce policy, says there are few surprises in the report. The "A" grade for overall policy environment, he adds, is a "nice affirmation that the U.S. Chamber likes what we’re doing with education policy in Indiana." The other "A" comes in the overall category of innovation in online learning.

The third overall category was innovation in openness to providers. Indiana received a "C." The other eight grades were divided between four areas for both four-year and two-year institutions. Those marks were:

  • Student access and success: C (four-year) and D (two-year)
  • Efficiency and cost effectiveness: D and B, respectively
  • Meeting labor market demand: B and C, respectively
  • Transparency and accountability: C and C

Check out the overall report and the Indiana analysis.

It’s About Time; Now Get the Job Done

In a tribute to Abraham Lincoln — that Gettysburg Address, after all, was just over two minutes long — we’re going to be short and to the point on the end of the Statehouse walkout.

Who won? Don’t care. Although both sides will claim victories and the media will undoubtedly overanalyze the question.

Was it the right move by the House Democrats? We care a little more about this one than the previous question, but not much. At least not right now, although a move to prevent future such actions would be something good to look at.

What do we care about? Legislators going back to work, putting aside their differences and doing the job they were elected to do. There are too many important issues at stake. Sure, that starts with education policies that focus on the students in the schools, not the adults in the system. But it also includes plenty of jobs and economic growth legislation (part of the Chamber agenda to benefit all Hoosiers) that was caught in the crossfire and still may ultimately fall victim to a lack of time.

Lawmakers lost five weeks in which little was accomplished. They have less than five weeks remaining to reverse course and get the job done to the highest level of their abilities. That’s what truly matters. Let the work begin again.