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The official blog of @SCHEVResearch at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Discussions about our work, national higher education data policy, and highlights about the data we publish.


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It is a Risky Business

by Tod Massa 18. July 2014 17:50

When I decided to this start this blog, I had a different idea in mind. Initially, I was thinking of something more formal. But that is not really me, and so it became a mix of national issues, state issues, and social media. Based on the feedback I have received, it seems to be working.

Please let me know if you think otherwise.

It is a risky business, though, this blogging. I constantly have to edit and constrain myself more than I sometimes want. Which is ultimately why I started my personal blog ( I still edit myself there more than I thought I would.  This is probably a good thing. Evidence of the danger of blogging was discovered this week. I guess, while no one really knows who said, "It is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt," clearly the Provost Prose blogger might have benefited from silence. However, Rebecca Schuman has addressed the situation entertainingly.

For those that do not read the links, two issues are implicit those posts: tone-deafness and the over-reliance on adjuncts.

On Wednesday, I was part of a panel at the Government Accountability Office headquarters in DC to talk about the proposed ratings system. It was a packed room of analysts and wonks, and more via distance from offices in Boston and elsewhere. The panel consisted of David Bergeron (formerly of USED and now at the Canter for American Progress), Patrick Perry (Executive VC of the California Community College Chancellor's Office), Ben Miller of New America Foundation, and myself. I thought went very well and that we gave GAO staff a lot to consider should they eventually asked to study the proposal or the ratings themselves. You can read my comments here. I didn't say much I haven't said or written before about the topic.

Next week is the Council meeting. I will be presenting at the TJ21 Committee on some recent work. You might wish to check out the agenda book. I will also be there for the discussion on the performance measures. I appreciate the effort folks have gone through with reviewing and understanding the measures. It is not easy, I know, and time ended being shorter for review than we had planned.

I want to give a shout-out to a few other blogs that I follow.

An institutional research and ed policy blog -

Robert Kelchen's data and ed policy blog -

Peter Greene's Curmudgucation for excellent and thoughtful discussions on K12 policy and reformy things.

And a couple of blogs from faculty here in the Richmond area for whose work I am developing respect, even if I lack understanding.

Eric Anthony Grollman's (UR) Conditionally Accepted.

Cedar Reiner (RMC) Cedar's Digest.

Finally, I want to recommend folks read the AASCU report on "Pay It Forward" as a method for financing higher education. It is pretty thoughtful and points to what I think are the right issues to address to make such an idea work.


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