Cracks in the Education Pipeline: A Business Leader's Guide to Higher Education Reform

Justin Torres

Committee for Economic Development
2005

This brief report is mostly a rehash of Measuring Up 2004 (see here), published by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, cut down for easy digestion by business leaders wanting to move education reform debates in their states. So, little new info here, but a nice summation of problems facing business (and the rest of us) as it seeks to employ qualified, skilled employees in the 21st century, including access to higher ed, affordability issues, and the need to raise standards in the K-12 system. The report calls on business to increase aid to poor students, support K-12 reform efforts, assist higher ed in "developing more efficient and effective management structure and systems," and advocate on behalf of higher standards generally. Unfortunately, colleges and universities are let off the hook since the report doesn't deal with needed curricular and structural reforms at the postsecondary level. (For more on that, see "Why must college be so costly?") Anti-reform types will spin dark fantasies from reports like this about the "troubling intersection of business and academia" or some such nonsense, but to the extent that business leaders sound the alarm about needed reforms, it's generally been and will be for the better. Check it out here.