Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Prior Learning Assessment

Original Article

Summary goes here!
So. How far away is this from evaluation students with various background? Likely these students were attending different institutions. So why is it inappropriate to evaluate graduates from various institutions?

I believe it is appropriate to evaluate graduates from various institutions. It is true that one test will not show a person's all ability. But that is a separate question on how to interpret the testing result. If someone is totally disagree with a testing result, he or she is free to hire the one with the lowest score. With multiple test results available to the public, public will vote with their feet to select the most appropriate school that meet their needs.

Friday, October 29, 2010

US College Graduation Rates by Race by State - 2009 IPEDS

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Related Articles:
US College graduation Rate by Race by State - 2010 IPEDS
US College Graduation Rate by State for 2009-10 graduates
College Graduation Rates by State - 2009 Ranking
Data release: College Graduation Rates by State for 2008-09 graduates

Race in United States is a much debated topic. Tying race to discrimination is a sequel of historical events. The subsistence of the racism is continually disputed. The data revealed here is too limited to settle the disagreement. But we do hope the data can pointed to the weak spot in our education system and the solution with emphasis on personal obligation can be developed. In author's opinion, some of today's approach in improving minorities' education attainment is overreaching and is themselves racial biased and undermined the important principle of personal responsibility. Services should be made available to all regardless of race. It takes responsible person to seek helps. Which race group actually uses these services is not a racial issue.

Opinion aside, objective view of the data is definitely in order.

This analysis is based on the data released earlier by the CL Higher Education Center. The analysis dis-regard the non-residence alien. The US total also exclude US minor islands and territories.

The College Graduation Rates by Race for the US states are shown in table 1 while the table 2 shows the same data with the inclusion of US minor islands and territories with differences highlighted. The difference for Asian are mainly caused by the inclusion of the Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The changes for Hispanic are the effect of including the Puerto Rico. The rest of the analysis would focus on the US states and Washington DC.

Table 1 - US states - including DC

Public 4Yr35%65%36%43%57%53%
NProfit 4Yr46%75%44%57%67%64%
Profit 4Yr41%42%31%43%40%38%
Public 2Yr17%25%12%16%23%20%
NProfit 2Yr23%51%46%47%55%51%
Profit 2Yr58%72%47%63%63%59%

Table 2 - With US minor islands and territories**

Public 4Yr35%64%36%43%57%53%
NProfit 4Yr46%75%44%43%67%63%
Profit 4Yr41%42%31%41%40%38%
Public 2Yr17%25%12%16%23%20%
NProfit 2Yr23%51%46%63%55%55%
Profit 2Yr58%72%47%61%63%59%

Fig. 1 shows the US average graduation rates by race by sector. In general, White and Asian stand out in the traditional institutions (Public and Private not-for-profit institutions). In other sectors, White and Asian college graduation rates are comparable to other races. Overall, the public two year sector shows the lowest college graduation rates for all races. Within each sector, the Black usually exhibit the lowest rate except at the public four year sector, where the Native American show the lowest college graduation rate. It is also interest to see that the private not-for-profit sectors have higher college graduation rates than their public counter parts.

Fig. 1 - US average graduation rates for each sector by race

Figure 2. present the same information as in Figure 1 except grouped by each race. Within all races, the private for-profit two year sector demonstrates high rates, only within White and Asian it seconds to the private not-for-profit four year sector.

Fig. 2 - US average college graduation rates for each race by sector

Figure 3 is an un-traditional display of a set of histogram for Asian. Each histogram/curve show the number of states at each graduation rate for a given sector. For example, there are 12 states that have college graduation rates for Asian greater than 55% and less than 60% for the public four year sector/curve while there are 9 states have college graduation rates greater than 30% and less than 35% for the private for-profit four year sector/curve.

Figure 3 demonstrates clearly that, for Asian, the average college graduation rates for each sector are representative except for the not-for-profit two year sector, where most of the states have a rate of 0% and rates are spread out without some kind of concentration or locality.

Fig. 3 - College graduation rate for Asian by sector

Figure 4 displayed similar information as in Figure 3 except it is for the Black. Even though the US average college graduation rate for the private not-for-profit four year sector is comparable to other sectors for Black, figure 4 shows that the rate varies a lot in regard to different states.

Fig. 4 - College graduation rate for Black by sector

Figure 5, 6 and 7 illustrate the same kind of information for Hispanic, Native American and White.

Fig. 5 - College graduation rate for Hispanic by sector

Fig. 6 - College graduation rate for Native American by sector

Fig. 7 - College graduation rate for White by sector

Figure 8 modeled after previous figures to display the college graduations rates for each race in the public four your sector. This chart clearly shows that the White and Asian are comparable except that there are some states where Asian exhibits higher rates.

Fig. 8 - College graduation rates for public four year sector by race

Figure 9 to 13 show the similar information as in Figure 8 for each sector.

Fig. 9 - College graduation rates for private not-for-profit four year sector by race

Fig. 10 - College graduation rates for private for-profit four year sector by race

Figure 11 is an very interested one. For one, this is the only one that all races are having good localities. Second of all, the White seems to be the one that is doing better even though the US average college going rates for public two year sector clearly show that the Asian is doing better than the White. The mystery is solved when dig deeper into the data. The data show that the high average college graduation rate for Asian in the public two year sector is caused by a single state with high Asian public two year sector enrollment, the California, which has a college graduation rate of 36% for Asian. This means that even though on average, Asian is doing good in public two year sector, it is not a Nation wide fact. It is also worth to note that the only state with meaningful high college graduation rates for the Native American is Wisconsin which enrolled 199 students. The other two states only enroll a total of 7 Native Americans. The other high rate state worth noting is the South Dakota, which post a rate of 64% for White.

Fig. 11 - College graduation rates for public two year sector by race

Figure 12 demonstrates that value of this kind of charts, where the meaning of average college graduation rates for private not-for-profit two year sector have very limited value.

Fig. 12 - College graduation rates for private not-for-profit two year sector by race

Fig. 13 - College graduation rates for private for-profit two year sector by race

**Updated on March 1, 2012.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

College Graduation Rates by State - 2009 Ranking

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Related Articles:
US College Graduation Rates by State for 2009-10 graduates
College Graduation Rates by State for 2008-09 graduates
US College Graduation Rates by Race by State - 2009 IPEDS

Due partly to the economic downturn, college enrollments throughout the United State are going up and President Obama's call for more higher education have been partly responded. However, to fully respond to Obama's call and the need of college graduates for our workforce, we need pay attentions to colleges' graduation rates.

To pursue that agenda, it is tempting to create integrated state rates and to rank states to draw public's attention.

It is, however, in our opinion, that we can achieving such a goal without getting into the complexity of producing an appropriately integrated state rates as outline in a tech. article.

For most states, only public higher education institutions are under the direct control of state or the public. It is, therefore, of importance to look at college graduation rates for public institutions instead of private colleges in a state.

Based on the published data, it is clear that there are very few public institutions that fall into categories of less-than-two year or non-degree-granting institutions. The two major categories are, then, the public four-year schools and the public two-year schools.

By running summarized statistics on this two groups of schools, we found that, statistically, they deserved to be compared in separate groups. As shown in the following 2 charts, almost all states have a graduation rate between 40 and 70% for public four year institutions and a graduation rate between 10 and 40% for public 2 year institutions.

Public 4 year institutions:

Public 2 year institutions:

Exception to the above rules are the District of Columbia, the state of Alaska and the state of South Dakota. The District of Columbia has a very low rate(11%) for public four year institutions. But our data also show that District of Columbia had very low public four year enrollment. Most of the enrollment at District of Columbia are in private not-for-profit institutions. The state of Alaska has hardly any other type of institutions except the four year public institutions. The four year public institution graduation rate is at a low 26%. As to the state of South Dakota, it simply have a very high graduation rate (61%) for its public two year institutions.

Ranking of the graduation rates for both the public 4 year institutions and public 2 year institutions are presented below:

For public four year institutions:
StateUS CohortUS GraduatesGraduation RatesRank

New Jersey15,46010,21566%3
New Hampshire4,7373,08165%4
South Carolina14,2668,56560%11
North Carolina27,89816,43859%15
Rhode Island3,5651,98056%19
US Total903,647481,68753%
New York44,64622,61851%29
North Dakota5,8882,78447%34
West Virginia10,8404,82344%39
South Dakota4,8202,11844%41
New Mexico6,5222,61140%45
District of Columbia2692911%51

For public two year institutions:
StateUS CohortGraduatesGraduation RateRank

South Dakota2,0861,28061%1
North Dakota1,16044638%2
New Hampshire1,71142525%16
US Total601,982122,99620%
New York47,1589,24920%26
North Carolina18,1663,55020%27
New Jersey25,4643,99516%31
West Virginia2,55534714%37
New Mexico5,51273513%38
South Carolina11,8721,31611%44
Rhode Island1,9751769%49
District of Columbia000%51

As we all know, reasons for the rate variation are many. For example, the open access policy of institutions could easily affect the graduation rates. The posting and ranking of the state college graduation rates nevertheless provides the context for dialogs between citizen, policy makers and educators. Further research should help to reveal the favorable mechanism to improve college graduation rates.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

College Graduation Rates by State for 2008-09 graduates

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CL Higher Education Center

Related articles:
US College graduation Rates by State - 2009-10 Graduates

College Graduation Rates Ranking by State - 2008-09 Graduates
US College Graduation Rates by Race by State - 2009 IPEDS

The CL Higher Education Center just released the compiled state by state college graduation rate data for 2008-09 college graduates.

The released data is based on the 2009 Graduation Rate survey conducted by the IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) division of the National Center for Education
Statistics (NCES) of the US Department of Education.

The IPEDS Graduation Rate Survey is constructed to track only the full-time, first-time college freshmen students. Part-time, transfer-in or other type of students is not considered in the survey. Even though not all students are counted, the resulting rates can be considered a general quality indicator of the institution.

For academic year based (e.g. semester, quarter ... etc.) institutions, only the full-time, first-time students who begin their college enrollment in the fall term are considered. For year round or program based schools, all full-time first-time students are account for in the IPEDS college graduation rate survey.

The graduation rates compiled in this data release is most commonly referred to as the 150% rate, which considered a student graduated only if the student graduated from a program within 150% of the length of the program. For bachelor program, only students graduated within 6 years are considered graduated. Students that take longer to graduates are not factored into the 150% graduation rate. For detailed information about the IPEDS Graduation Rate survey please check out the IPEDS graduation rate survey material.

The compiled rates includes state rates for different types/sectors of institutions breaking down by race and gender. For the purpose of comparing, the aggregated rate do not include the non-resident alien which is included in the IPEDS survey.

Related articles will be posted later.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Job outlook for college graduates - the supply and demand in Nebraska

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CL Higher Education Center

CL Higher Education Center has just released the data behind the 'workforce supply/demand higher education - Nebraska' report. The methodology is discussed in 'college workforce supply/demand - methodology'.

The released Excel workbook contains few worksheets. One for the oversupply academic programs and one for the under supply academic programs. Besides these two worksheets, there are worksheets that help reader look into how the oversupply and under-supply lists are derived.

In the case of oversupply academic programs, let's look at the academic program: 130301 - Curriculum and Instruction - Master Degree. If we look at the XWalk_ByCIP worksheet, we found that the only appropriate occupation for this CIP is the Instructional Coordinators. That occupation has an annual job opening of 37 while Nebraska colleges produced 523 graduates in the academic year of 2008-09.

An example for the under-supply academic program should provide enough exercises for reader to understand the result better. Look under the XWalk_ByCIP worksheet for the CIP of 521001, it is clear that seven occupations are appropriate for graduates from this CIP. The seven occupations provide a total of 340 job openings a year. By looking under the RvlCIP worksheet for this CIP, we notice that three of the seven occupations can also accept graduates from two other CIPs: 521005 and 521003. These 2 CIPs produce a total 5 graduates in the 2008-09 academic year. The net result is that there can have at least 335 job opening for our focus CIP of 521001. Since during the 2008-09 academic year, there were 226 Nebraska college graduates that are from this CIP, the net results is that there will be at least 109 jobs remain unfilled.

An interesting question to ask is what's the economic implication of all these?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

college workforce supply/demand - methodology

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In conclusion, we have proofed that the methodology we used does allow us to identify both the definitely over supply and under supply academic programs. To put this in plain English, it means that if we labeled an academic program over supply, the program is definitely over supply - no matter how you simulate the hiring based on the crosswalks. The same is true for the under supply academic programs. Our designation, however, does not suggest to the policy maker to increase the number of graduates of all under supply academic programs to the amount of shortages since some of the programs are related.

This article is a technical note that described the research methodology employed in the analysis of my previous article titled 'workforce supply/demand higher education - Nebraska'.

Updated June 8, 2015: An improved approach provides better directions for program management agency or policy maker.

The whole idea behind the analysis is what we called the worst case scenario analysis, which is commonly used in simplify a complicate problem so that some guidance for further analysis can be devised. A common result of such analysis is the lower bound or upper bound of a variable of interest.

The problem of the supply and demand interaction between higher education and workforce is a complex one. It is not mathematically challenge but nevertheless a complex one. The goal is aimed to understand how college/higher education graduates are fed into the workforce.

The ground work to the problem was laid years ago. Researcher and workforce development workers, after years of study, have documented the field and the level of knowledge needed for each occupation. In the same time, crosswalk tables were created that linked each academic program to the related occupation. In the crosswalk framework, the occupation is classified by the so called 'Standard Occupational Code' (SOC) and the academic program is classified by the 'Classification of Instructional Program' (CIP) code and the degree level awarded.

The complexity of the problem rooted at the fact that the crosswalks between the academic program and the occupation is not a single one to one map. As we can all image that graduates from one academic program can be fed into more than one occupation. The reverse of that is alos true: An occupation can accept graduates from more than one academic programs. It is this complexity that have limited most analysis to a smaller scale. For example, a Texas supply and demand study only focused on few big categories and the 'The Occupational Supply Demand System' website only provides tools for navigating between academic programs and occupations.

An additional complexity is also exist that the education classification system used to classify the occupation is not directly compatible with that used to classify the academic program either. For our study, since we are only interested in college educated graduates, all jobs classified with less than college degree requirement are discarded based on the idea that, for most cases, it wouldn't worth the investment for a college graduates to take that kind of jobs. In order to address the incompatibility between the two education classification system, a new education classification is improvised which allows the creation of a one to one map, in the mathematical sense, from both the academic and the occupational system to the new classification. The mapping is outlined below:


Less Than 1 Year AwardsLess than 2 year certificatesPostsecondary vocational training
Between 1 and 2 Years AwardsLess than 2 year certificatesPostsecondary vocational training
Associates DegreesAssociate (+Less than 4 year)Associate degree
Between 2 and 4 Years AwardsAssociate (+Less than 4 year)Associate degree
Bachelors DegreesBachelor (+Certificates)Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience
Bachelors DegreesBachelor (+Certificates)Bachelor's degree
Post-Bachelors CertificatesBachelor (+Certificates)Bachelor's degree
Post-Bachelors CertificatesBachelor (+Certificates)Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience
Masters DegreesMaster (+Certificates)Master's degree
Post-Masters CertificatesMaster (+Certificates)Master's degree
Doctorate DegreesDoctorDoctoral degree
First Professional DegreesFirst Professional (+Certificates)First professional degree
Post-First Professional CertificatesFirst Professional (+Certificates)First professional degree
Doctor's degree - research/scholarshipDoctorDoctoral degree
Doctor's degree - professional practiceFirst Professional (+Certificates)First professional degree
Doctor's degree - OtherDoctorDoctoral degree

In theory, with enough computing power, we can simulate all possible scenarios and draw conclusions from the all possible assumptions. However, that kind of approach could easily bury the intuitive common sense and lost the researcher in the forest of data.

Since our goal is to identify the definitely over-supply and the definitely under-supply academic programs, we chose to use the worse case scenario analysis.

Since the process of establishing the lower bound for over-supply is much straightforward, we will describe it first.

By definition, an academic program is over-supply if there are fewer jobs appropriate for the program than the number of graduates from that academic program. By assuming that all appropriate jobs openings for an academic program are available to graduates from that academic program, we can calculate the number of graduates that could not find a job opening by subtracting the number of job openings from the number of graduates. If the result of the calculation is a postive number, we know the number of graduates would not be able to find the appropriate jobs. In reality, some of the appropriate job openings could be filled with graduates from other academic program and, hence, reduce the number of openings available to our focus academic program. However, the program we identified as over supply will still be over supplying its graduates, just to a bigger amount. The result we arrived is, therefore, a lower bound and the academic program we identified is, therefore, a definitely over supply program.

The process of producing the lower bound for the under-supply academic program is a bit more complicated. The idea begins with that if an academic program produced fewer graduates than what the industry can absorb, then that academic program is a under-supply program. The number of shortage in supply or the number of job openings to fill can be calculated by subtracting the number of graduates from the number of those job openings. As a first attempt, we could proceed the calculation using job openings from all appropriate occupations for a given academic program. However, in reality, some of the appropriate job openings could be filled with graduates from other academic programs. The number we arrived previous is, therefore, an over estimate of the shortage problem. The shortage may not even exist if all those appropriate jobs can be filled with graduates from other academic programs.

To resolve this problem, we begin our first step by identifying all the rival academic programs of our focus academic program. By definition, the rival academic programs are programs that could supply graduates to any of the appropriate job opening of our focus academic program. Once we identified all the rival academic program, we can calculated the total rival graduates by adding all the graduates from these rival academic programs. We, now, recalculate the shortage or the number of job opening to fill by subtracting both the number of graduates of our focus program and the rival graduates from the appropriate job openings of our focus program.In reality, not all rival graduates can fill those appropriate job openings. In that case, the number of job openings to be filled will be larger. The result we arrived is, therefore, an absolute minimum of the number of job openings need to be filled. We, therefore, termed that academic program a definitely under-supply program.

In conclusion, we have proofed that the methodology we used does allow us to identify both the definitely over supply and under supply academic programs. To put this in plain English, it means that if we labeled an academic program over supply, the program is definitely over supply - no matter how you simulate the hiring based on the crosswalks. The same is true for the under supply academic programs. Our designation, however, does not suggest to the policy maker to increase the number of graduates of all under supply academic programs to the amount of shortages since some of the programs are related. Increase the graduates in one academic program may reduce the number of job openings of a rival academic program and move that program off the under supply list.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

workforce supply/demand higher education - Nebraska

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Related blogs:
college workforce supply/demand - methodology
Job outlook for college graduates - the supply and demand in Nebraska (Data Release)
Updated on June 8, 2015: An improved methodology applied to 2013 IPEDS college graduates using Nebraska's 2012-2022 long term occupation projection.

For governing, the leader should look past the status quo and project the better future for the community. For education, the survival is a necessary and minimum. Seeking to reaching the learning limits of a human being is the goal.

More than 25 years ago, Ronald Reagan's 'A Nation at Risk' called for education reform. Since then, various projects aimed to improve American's education debuted.

Most recently, Barack Obama called for the increase of postsecondary education population. Due part to the economic downturn, the enrollment in postsecondary education do increase. The questions, however, is what kind of education these students are pursuing? In what field? Will the degrees they are getting fit the needs of the community? And, therefore, be able to find a job opening.

Through the years, researchers and workforce developers have been working hard in trying to answer this question. Education levels needed for jobs have been studied and tabulated. Fields of knowledge needed for particular jobs are also studied. Crosswalks between the academic program and the standard occupation code (SOC) have been built. However, even with all these advances the analysis of the data still post challenges.

As we can all imaging, the crosswalks between academic programs (classified by CIP code) and occupations is not a direct one to one mapping. A single academic programs may provides knowledge for several occupations. On the other hand, a single occupation classification may accepts graduates from various academic programs. And it is exactly this madness that limited the mass analysis of the workforce supply and demand data since manually sorting through each academic program or occupation is most likely needed. For example, a Texas supply and demand study only focused on the big categories. Also, the 'The Occupational Supply Demand System' website only provides tools for navigating between academic programs and occupations.

The data and methodology used to present the finding here represents a first attempt to answer this analysis need. The methodology used can be refined at a much higher processing cost but will be attempted later by the author. For now, our first order approach do provide some useful information for researchers and policy makers. This implies that now the governor, the education authorities and the policy maker can really put their thoughts in DESIGNing the future of Nebraska. Contrasting to the past, the decision of approving new academic program can now based on both the market's supply and demand and the students' interest.

Before presenting the findings, the author like to provide a word of caution. Fulfill the job market is not the ultimate goal for governing or education. For governing, the leader should look past the status quo and project the better future for the community. For education, the survival is a necessary and minimum. Seek to reaching the learning limits of a human being is the goal. The author would also like readers to keep perspectives on earnings and personal interest. None of the data presented is intended to emphasis the higher earning of a job.

The top 10 of our oversupplied academic programs are:
  1. 520201 Business Administration and Management (Bachelor training) - at least 539 graduates would not find a degree appropriate job.
  2. 520101 Business/Commerce, General (Bachelor training) - at least 526 graduates ...
  3. 130301 Curriculum and Instruction (Master training) - at least 486 graduates ...
  4. 260101 Biology/Biological Sciences, General (Bachelor training) - at least 470 ...
  5. 511613 Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse(LPN, LVN, Cert, Dipl, AAS) (less than 2 year certificates) - at least 228 ...
  6. 131202 Elementary Education and Teaching (Bachelor training) - at least 217 ...
  7. 220101 Law (LL.B., J.D.) (First Professional) - at least 195 ...
  8. 521401 Marketing/Marketing Management, General (Bachelor training) - at least 177 ...
  9. 511201 Medicine (MD) (First Professional) - at least 150 ...
  10. 512001 Pharmacy (PharmD, BS/BPharm [Canada]) (First Professional) - at least 148 ...

The top 10 of our under-supplied academic programs are:
  1. 490205 Truck/Bus/Commercial Vehicle Operation (Less than 2 year certificates) - at least 578 academic-training-appropriate job openings remain to be filled.
  2. 511601 Nursing - Registered Nurse Training (RN, ASN, BSN, MSN) (Associate training) - at least 330 ...
  3. 139999 Education, Other (Bachelor training) - at least 172 ...
  4. 460302 Electrician (Less than 2 year certificates) - at least 133 ...
  5. 521001 Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General (Bachelor training) - at least 109 ...
  6. 110301 Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician (Associate training) - at least 105 ...
  7. 310501 Health and Physical Education, General (Less than 2 year certificates) - at least 96 ...
  8. 011102 Agronomy and Crop Science (Bachelor training) - at least 84 ...
  9. 011106 Range Science and Management (Bachelor training) - at least 84 ...
  10. 011105 Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management (Bachelor training) - at least 84 ...
  11. 011103 Horticultural Science (Bachelor training) - at least 84 ...
A very interesting observation of these two top 10 list is that the Registered Nurse is in shortage supply while the Practical/Vocational Nurse is oversupplied - I think you can imaging how this can happen with the mis-guided marketing campaign. I would like to see how much money have been wasted in producing these over supplied graduates.

*Detailed data table will be published in the up-coming articles. For interacting with the author, please go to here.

For-profit colleges under fire over value, accreditation

Original Article

... we shall all do the the right and justice decision through the course of this revolution.

I think you can find all the related news post and reports.

I believe the title of the article is probably very close to the reality. However, it don't have to be. What I mean is that the for-profit nature of a institution does not have to always produce low value product. It is the regulations that matters. Just think about this, almost of our daily use products are produced by for-profit companies. Even in the world of space industry, NASA isn't over achievement compared with the Scaled.

The current affair is a typical case of finding the weakest to attack. It does not attempt to solve the bigger problem - the accountability. It is reported that while the rule proposed by the Obama administration is intended for the for-profit higher education institutions, non-for-profit institutions voice to against the regulation too - for afraid that the rule may one day applied to the non-for-profit institutions. As far as I am concern, I can't see why not. At least the idea of 'gainful employment' should also applied to public institutions. The low tuition of public institution should not be considered as an exemption since public institution are usually heavily subsidized by tax dollars.

As the article said, it all comes down to the standard. If you have been following education news about accountability, you know the amount resistance from institutions and professors/teachers. I were a teacher before and even though I don't have to like to be evaluated but I am definitely not afraid of being evaluated. Sometimes, I feel that people are over-reacting to the evaluation. In my case, not all my students are the brightest or the hard working type. But to prove that I am not a good teacher, you need more than a test score - for example, they will have to prove that given the same kids, other teacher can do a better job than I can. Yes, I do against firing teachers based sololy on students' test score. But test score itself is not the subject. After all they are objective indicators. The subject is on how to move forward from there. For one, teachers should definitely be given opportunities to present their cases.

For higher education, we all understand that trainings are diverse. However, again, objective measurement is never hurt. Institutions can provide their feedback to the way measurement is done and can ask to clarify what is been measured and can voice their disagreements on their goals of education. The public can look all these information and make decisions and create the market interaction. For example, certain people may considered that the math concept is a definite requirement for a engineer degree and they can choose to attend school with solid math concept program. On the other hand, certain other people may consider, with the computer in mind, that the concept of math isn't as important as it seems, they could be listening to institutions explanation and agreed with them.

With these information in place, people will know exactly what they get and it may happens that it is no longer worth to fabricate a big lie than to actually provide a good services or product.

Personally, I think the for-profit provides a 'private option' to the higher education mix. With its very nature of for-profit, it paid for them to focus everything in efficiency. This could provide a obvious contrast to how public institution is operated. Can these institution success? Given the success of our capitalized private industries, I believe they can given enough flexibility and appropriate regulation - just like all our private companies, we do not specify how much assets they much have, as long as they can produce a good product and did not label anything the product will not do on the product.

Of cause, like we all can image that the success of these institutions could impact our current higher education institutions in big ways. The resistance and hostility from other sectors of the higher education is also expected. But we shall all do the the right and justice decisions through the course of this revolution.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

College going rates by state 2008 analysis

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CL Higher Education Center

Related blogs:
College Going Rates by State - 2008 Early Release
2006: College Going Rates by State - an Analysis
Estimated US College Going Rates by State - 2005-06

Is it the economic down turn or is it in response to Obama's call for more higher education enrollment? It doesn't seem to matter. The overall US college going rate for 2007-08 high school graduates do climb up for about 1.5%. The biggest gain occurred in the public 2-year colleges.

The overall US averages showed that the college going rate for degree-granting institutions increased from 61.7% in 2006 to 63.3% in 2008, an increase of 1.6%. At the mean time, the college going rate for non-degree-granting institutions decreased from 1.5% in 2006 to 1.4% in 2008 resulting in a net increase of 1.5% in the total college going rate.

overall rates by state
State% Going Degree-Granting% Going Non-Degree-Granting% Going Colleges
District of Columbia53.4%4.5%57.9%
New Hampshire63.9%1.4%65.3%
New Jersey71.2%2.4%73.6%
New Mexico67.7%0.6%68.3%
New York74.2%1.9%76.1%
North Carolina66.0%0.5%66.5%
North Dakota63.8%1.6%65.4%
Rhode Island67.4%3.2%70.6%
South Carolina69.5%0.7%70.2%
South Dakota72.1%0.6%72.7%
West Virginia59.0%2.3%61.4%

US Total63.3%1.4%64.8%

For the non-degree-granting schools, the highest rates are that for the District of Columbia (4.5%), the state of Oklahoma (4.2%) and the state of Rhode Island (3.2%) - all other states are below 3.0%. In 2006, the rate for the District of Columbia was 8.6%, which is way above the rate of all other states.

Chart: % non-degree-granting

Focusing on the degree-granting institutions, it is showed that the public-2-year colleges made the biggest stride to increase the college going rate, it jumped from 17.8% in 2006 to 19.7% in 2008, an increase of 1.9%. Other rate changes include the decrease of 0.4% for the private not-for-profit 4-year colleges and the increase of 0.2% in the private for-profit 4-year sector.

Sector rates by state
State% to Public 4 Year% to Private 4 Yr Not For ProfitTrad. 4 Year% to Private 4 Year For Profit% to Public 2 Year% to Private 2 Year Not For Profit% to Private 2 Year For Profit% to Degree Grntng

District of Columbia23.7%21.3%45.0%1.9%3.7%0.2%2.7%53.4%
New Hampshire21.7%25.9%47.6%1.7%14.4%0.1%0.2%63.9%
New Jersey23.9%23.9%47.8%1.7%21.3%0.1%0.3%71.2%
New Mexico33.0%4.0%36.9%0.6%29.5%0.1%0.6%67.7%
New York25.3%25.0%50.4%1.6%21.2%0.2%0.8%74.2%
North Carolina32.8%10.7%43.4%0.9%21.1%0.3%0.4%66.0%
North Dakota42.0%10.1%52.1%0.8%10.4%0.2%0.3%63.8%
Rhode Island23.6%23.6%47.2%0.5%19.7%0.0%0.0%67.4%
South Carolina27.6%14.0%41.7%1.3%25.2%1.1%0.3%69.5%
South Dakota42.3%11.9%54.2%1.1%16.2%0.2%0.4%72.1%
West Virginia37.2%7.2%44.3%0.7%12.8%0.0%1.2%59.0%

US Total28.3%13.2%41.5%1.2%19.7%0.2%0.8%63.3%

Comparing rates between sectors, it is clear that United States sent most (41.5%) of their high school graduates to the traditional 4 year colleges, defined as the joint group of public 4-year schools and the private not-for-profit 4-year schools. The public 2-year schools take the next big share of 19.7% in 2008 with the rest of the sectors made up for the remaining 2.1%. However, even though this general observation is true for most states, the true rates vary by states.

To obtain an overall picture, it is helpful to put states in categories prescribed by the fraction of college going students that went to the public 2-year institutions. In doing so, most states are having rates below 40%, while few states stand out with large fraction of their students went to the 2-year public schools. Among these states are: Mississippi(64%), California(52%), Wyoming(50%) and Arizona(46%).

Chart: % 2-year public in all that going

Comparing with 2006, there are two states that have significantly increased the fraction of their public 2-year college going students. These two states are Arizona, which send additional 5,875 students to 2-year public schools to increase the rate from 37% to 46%, and California, which send additional 51,792 students to 2-year public school and increased its rate from 42% to 52%.

For completeness, it is also worth to note that Alaska(3%), District of Columbia(7%), Vermont(8%) and Nevada(10%) sent very few of their high school graduates to 2-year-public institutions.

To finish up, we present a chart of of the overall degree-granting college going rate by state and by sector.

Monday, August 16, 2010

College Going Rates by State - 2008 Early Release

CL Higher Education Center

Related blogs:
College going rates by state 2008 analysis
2006: College Going Rates by State - an Analysis
Estimated US College Going Rates by State - 2005-06

CL Higher Education Center just released the Early Release of the 'estimated US College Going Rates by State for 2007-08 High School Graduates'.

The analysis is based on the 2007-08 Common Core Data (CCD) survey, the 2006-07 Private School Survey (PSS) and the 2008-09 Integrated Postsecondary Education System (IPEDS) migration survey managed by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) of the Department of Education (USDE).

The CCD and PSS survey is used to estimate the number of high school graduates from a state. The IPEDS migration survey provide the information of how many of those students went to colleges. Since PSS is collected every two year and the number of graduates collected by the 2007-08 PSS is that of 2006-07 academic year. By assuming that 2006-07 number is a good estimate for the 2007-08 number, we can add it to the number of public high school graduates collected by the CCD to produce the total number of high school graduates for a state.

This data release also include a file with some analysis results and charts.

State2008 Normal HS Graduates2008 Dgr-Grntng Total2008 % to Dgr-Grntng Total2008 Rank2006 Rank

New York206,201153,07274.2%32
South Dakota9,1386,58772.1%44
New Jersey108,33877,10471.2%59
South Carolina38,85126,99569.5%76
New Mexico19,75913,37767.7%117
Rhode Island11,9298,04367.4%1244
North Carolina88,90158,68166.0%1516
New Hampshire17,27611,03863.9%2318
North Dakota7,4204,73263.8%243
West Virginia18,09410,68459.0%3637
District of Columbia5,0172,68053.4%4539

Exam the ranking, the first surprise is the North Dakota, which drop from number 3 to number 24. A closer look at the data, the main drop on college enrollment occurred at 'North Dakota State College of Science'. The enrollment of recent North Dakota high school graduates dropped from 331 to 88. Also the 'Bismarck State College' seems to switch from public-2-year to the public-4-year sector with a drop in enrollment of recent North Dakota high school graduates from 554 to 297.

Rounding up the top 10, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, Minnesota and Virginia had moved up to number 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9 respectively.

For the second group of 10 states, Rhode Island and California showed the most improvements. For Rhode Island, a single entity: 'Community College of Rhode Island' reports a gain of about 1,400 enrollments from 826 to 2,251. For California, the gains are across the board: about 4,000 in the public-4-year sector, 1,000 in the private-not-for-profit-4-year sector, 800 in the private-for-profit-4-year sector, a whopping 52,000 in the public-2-year sector.

In this second tier, Rhode Island, Alabama, Delaware, North Carolina, Indiana, Nebraska, and California had moved up.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Real Challenge for Higher Education

Original Article

Summary goes here!

Basically, Mr. Walters' observation matches that of mine - the major problem of the US education ( not just the higher education) is in the culture, which I used to term it: attitude/responsibility (see my various post here and in my old archive). Being a person originated from one of the Asian countries, I was able to point this out quite a few years back. With kids growing up in the US and went through the teens, I can feel these even more personally.

I can certainly confirm that the education culture where I came from is quite different from that of American. However, it is not necessary in the way Mr. Walters described. When I grew up, teachers do hold highly authoritative and respective positions as they traditionally do. In addition to that, the opportunity to attend college is quite limited. Only about 30% of high school graduates will be admitted into colleges. College entrance exam is how fates are determined. Study is not an option but a mandate. Well, yes, there are still students that would not study. But, in general, there is that pressure. The exam culture is also extended to any government job. You have to pass exam to hold certain government jobs. Even in the business world, diploma still hold a lot of water.

After I left the country, the country went through a massive education reform led by a Nobel laureate, who naively believed in the US education system. The country is now posting a college going rate of almost hindered percent. But as you might have imaged, this does not translate to the overall education gain - graduates from the dumbed down institutions are simply not well-educated.

If you think about this a bit, it may make sense to you: If the college admission is given, what will drive a student to study hard? Once in the college, what can a professor do? Can he or she failed all the students? As you can see, this is what the entitlement built on!

I certainly admire the open enrollment system of the US community college system which provides a second chance for people failed to learn in high school. However, I believe in that a person will not learn unless he wanted to learn. A person should be required to demonstrate his will by passing a high standard remedial education.

The 'culture' do not come easy. It is built on the responsibility. The whole society have to be asked to take responsibility. This may include cruel laws - in American's standard.

I always admired American's giving spiritual. However, there are cases that the giving spiritual diminished the requisition of responsibility.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Colleges and the Common Core

Original Article

Common assessments is the question!
Actually, I think the most important question raised by the article is the common assessments.

If we assuming, for a moment, that the assessments is accurate. Is there any reason to against the common assessment? For me, I don't see any reason to against it ( I will address Donald Asher's comment later). The question left is, then, how can we make these assessments reasonably accurate. Ideally, the assessments will provide useful information on various measurements. There is no reason to limited to, say, one score for math. There could have one score for algebra, one score for trigonometry ... etc. There is also no reason to limit depth except to limited the number of questions students have to answer.

With these assessments in place, the rest is history. Do we need common core? Will college using these assessments for admission? The answer to these two question are obvious. We do not need common core since these assessments will drive the curriculum and schools can pick whatever way to teach their students. If these assessments are accurate, I can't see why college would not use them.

Now to the comment of Mr. Asher: the creativity. Apparently, Mr. Asher is very proud of the American innovation machine. The thing I would like to point out is that, at this point, it may be true that American have been innovated. But I am not so sure this is directly linked to the American education system. Also, for a long time, China and India have to fight for their survival first. Mr. Asher's arguments on teaching to the test is also questionable. Personally, I went through all these test preparation culture and I can tell you that those people who standout are those really understand the material. Teaching to the test does not work - especially if the assessment is well designed. The entrepreneur argument isn't without a flaw either. In American there are plenty of foreign born entrepreneur and much of them are in the hi-tech field. Besides, Microsoft and Cisco are created by nerds who are of no typical American kids.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ravitch to Obama: 'Change course before it is too late"

Washingtonpost Article

Summary goes here!
Few of my points:
  1. I agree that evaluate teacher with students' testing score isn't the best way to evaluate a teacher. But we should also understand the frustration of our public, Republican or Democrats, about our k12 education that drives all these agenda. I wonder maybe Diane Ravitch, just like Obama or Duncan, only see one side of the story.
  2. I agree that test should be designed by professionals.
  3. I have trouble with the article's idea of 'teaching to the test'. I will argue that with a good design of the test, there will be no such thing as 'teaching to the test' or that 'teaching to the test' isn't the best way to score high in the test. Personally, I grew up in that environment, I saw friends and classmates went through cram schools and did not do well unless they really understand the material.
  4. Not all teachers are equal. I saw good teachers, but I also saw those that aren't qualified for the subject they teach.
  5. I think, at this point in time, the loss of time in other subjects is overly exaggerated. Given my observation, our students spend much more time in sport, art activities then study. Just look at the high school, how much time students spend on sport practice and competition? Music festival? How about academic competitions?
  6. As to Ravitch's response to the last question, I wonder if she suggested that Democrats should not endorse Republican's agenda? Teacher isn't the only voter to consider, there are other people. I would say that we need a survey to see what the general public have in mind.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mechanism and responsibility

Original Article

Summary goes here!

===== Comment posted at on Apr. 20, 2010
I posted the idea before and will try again.

I will limited my discussion to math and engineer programs so that we can focus on the idea other than be drawn into the fight of measuring the soft-skill (liberal art/critical thinking) - but don't forget that IQ is measured.

For math and those hard-skill, I think community colleges should use or establish some standard objective measurement or test that is not managed by instructor of the course or program. The goal of a course or program is to score high on the test - yes I know this is nothing new and it's like an AP or test preparing center.

However, I like people to ponder on this idea. If students know the goal is not set by the instructor, they may very well see instructor as their ally that can help them. It also emphasizes that they are the one that have to achieve the goal, the instructors are just there to show them practices and steps that will help them reach the goal. Students that do not follow those suggested steps or practices will have no one to blame but themselves since the instructor did not create or manage the test.

Yes. There is nothing new here. But I do think if we adopt this practice, it could very well change the way how our education works - I firmly believe that the true study begins with the student.

*Roderick Bell, than for the nice words. I am not bright but I work hard. The sad thing is that I got a lot of other things I like to do. Writing simply isn't one that I spend most of my time. Yes, it takes me a while to catch errors and there are times I simply limited by my vocabulary. If I got time, I would try thesaurus. But, well everyone only got 24 hours.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No Letup From Washington

Original Article

Summary goes here!
Quote an insider's words: 'If you don't do it yourself, others will do it for you.'

I don't like him - too calculative or sophisticate if you will. But at least there are some insides.

Please read comments on the original post and you will see the view of scholars - not one but more. The sophisticate and unwillingness is just unbelievable. And you wonder why people and administrations are upset with Universities?

The argument that 'GPA is a much better predictor' is not good enough. Because this leaves out a lot of pre-conditions. First of all, it is totally subjective. I can tell you that my A is definitely much harder to get than my peer instructors. Yes, if you compare my A students with my B students, they are definitely at different caliper. But I can't tell you that with my B students and other instructors' A students. And we all heard of grade inflation. Besides, even myself, can I flunk all my students just because they are ill-prepared? No, I will adjust my grades so I can show their differences and achievements. What does this lead us? If you can establish the curriculum standard and define clearly what is to be an A. Then I will agree that WITHIN that entity, the GPA is a good measurement. So how much will it cost to establish this across all the institutions?
The argument here is that to establish the GPA as a GOOD predictor, you need the same efforts as to establish good measurement. The thing is that everyone like to define the good, themselves.

I suspect that the GPA we have today is loosely defined statistical measure of the efforts of students. Assuming talents are equally likely distributed across the gender, race, geographic boundaries. Assuming teachers are generally un-biased and rank their students on things they learn. Also assuming that ... With all these assumptions, we COULD?? say that high GPA PROBABLY mean a students with right learning attitude and willing to put in efforts. These students will success no matter where you put them. Even if they were from a low standard learning community, they will put in extra efforts - even though with time crunches they may not catch up with their peers during the school year. But with life long learning, they will doing just fine.

But we have to understand that this is only a possible explanation to why GPA could predict. But it does not address what the public is asking for.

Friday, April 02, 2010

AP: Good but Oversold?

Original Article

Working on ...
To stick with the topic, I think the book is a welcome publication. Whether it is good or not, it's an independent examination of AP courses.

As to comment to the comments, here it goes:
Personally, I don't see AP as an evil. To adopt it more or not is not AP's problem. Un-prepared students? It's not AP's problem either - even though it could be schools' or College Board's problem.

One thing I see positive about the AP is that it raised the bar for today's high school courses and let people see what is possible to get out of our high school students. Personally, I don't think AP is just for wealthy kids. For motivated kids? Yes. I understand that there are real real poor people that need help. But except those, if you are fifteen and are fed and have books in your hand and the library, I don't think you can blame anyone for not studying.

For Judith, I have no idea what her problem is. 'no matter how advanced the high school course' is. Are schools the only place you can learn stuff in this modern age of free information? I don't think so.

For the HR guy, I hope you see my point of promoting the test-out for credits. To me, it is not students' problem that schools can't find a good way to evaluate students academic achievements and, therefore, require them to sit in the class to receive credits.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2006 Collge Going Rates by In-State and Out-of-State

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CL Higher Education College Going Rate Data Release

CL Higher Education Center just added the 2005-06 in-state and out-state analysis to its College Going Rates by State data set.

The in-state rate is calculated for students who attended colleges in their home state while the out-state rate is for students who went to colleges that is outside of their home state. One interesting fact is that most of the North-Eastern states exhibit high out-state college going rates, which can due to the fact that all these states are close to each other and is well within the comfortable driving distances from each other.

State Collge Going Total Stay Total Out Total
Alabama 72% 64% 7%
Alaska 50% 29% 21%
Arizona 49% 43% 6%
Arkansas 60% 53% 7%
California 63% 57% 6%
Colorado 69% 54% 15%
Connecticut 84% 45% 39%
Delaware 81% 53% 28%
District of Columbia 99% 34% 64%
Florida 71% 63% 8%
Georgia 77% 64% 13%
Hawaii 69% 44% 25%
Idaho 48% 35% 13%
Illinois 69% 51% 18%
Indiana 70% 61% 9%
Iowa 67% 57% 9%
Kansas 72% 61% 11%
Kentucky 68% 61% 7%
Louisiana 83% 74% 9%
Maine 77% 50% 27%
Maryland 78% 49% 29%
Massachusetts 87% 58% 29%
Michigan 72% 64% 7%
Minnesota 75% 55% 19%
Mississippi 86% 79% 7%
Missouri 66% 55% 11%
Montana 62% 46% 16%
Nebraska 73% 60% 13%
Nevada 56% 43% 13%
New Hampshire 76% 40% 37%
New Jersey 82% 47% 35%
New Mexico 77% 60% 17%
New York 89% 72% 18%
North Carolina 71% 64% 7%
North Dakota 78% 57% 21%
Ohio 68% 57% 11%
Oklahoma 67% 60% 7%
Oregon 53% 40% 12%
Pennsylvania 73% 60% 13%
Rhode Island 67% 41% 26%
South Carolina 52% 47% 5%
South Dakota 77% 59% 18%
Tennessee 74% 63% 11%
Texas 60% 53% 7%
Utah 49% 45% 4%
Vermont 66% 28% 37%
Virginia 75% 60% 15%
Washington 53% 41% 12%
West Virginia 63% 55% 8%
Wisconsin 68% 55% 13%
Wyoming 59% 43% 16%

US Total 69% 57% 13%

Again, the data is based on the 2005-06 Common Core Data (CCD) survey, the Private School Survey (PSS) and the Integrated Postsecondary Education System (IPEDS) migration survey managed by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) of the Department of Education (USDE).

See prior blog entry for detailed info on how these data is processed.