Federal Role in Accountability

P-20 Student Data Systems 

  • Support the continued development of intra-state data systems and the advancement of an integrated network of state data systems, based on common data elements, to serve as a privacy-protected state-based system of student-level longitudinal data.
  • Discourage federal efforts that require states to collect overly burdensome or intrusive student data; support data collection that directly informs key educational outcomes.
  • Encourage the federal government to issue clarifying guidance on permissible data sharing that does not undermine the integrity of the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Maintenance of Effort

  • Advocate to hold states accountable for maintaining specific state appropriation levels to public higher education whenever the federal government provides additional, general support funds beyond historical, programmatic funding to ensure that federal dollars are not used to supplant existing state operating dollars.

Consumer Information and College Costs 

  • Oppose any attempts to impose federal cost containment measures on institutions.
  • Encourage the adoption and use, where applicable, of voluntary reporting structures such as the Voluntary System of Accountability.

Degree Attainment Reporting 

  • Focus national educational attainment goals and federal evaluation efforts on the absolute number of Americans with a degree or certificate, rather than solely on institutional graduation rates.
  • Work to devise more accurate completion measures that encompass the persistence and success of all students, including transfer and part-time students.
  • To the extent that graduation rates are used as a metric in institutional evaluation, improve their value using students’ federal financial aid status as a proxy for income, and assure that these disaggregated rates are reported in IPEDS. These graduation rates were identified in the HEOA for the following groups: Pell Grant recipients, Subsidized Stafford Loan recipients who are not Pell Grant recipients, and students who do not receive any federal aid or who receive only unsubsidized loans.

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