ALEC’s Guide to Advancing American Colleges and Universities: 10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask about Higher Education


ALEC’s Guide to Advancing American Colleges and Universities: 10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask about Higher Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 15, 2011) – The contribution of state colleges and universities toward America’s well-being cannot be exaggerated.  Successful education cultivates inspiration for American economic excellence, both domestically and internationally. Unfortunately, a variety of obstacles stand in our way: sky-rocketing costs for higher education, plummeting cuts to state budgets, students who are not prepared for their classes, and institutions that are stuck teaching in the 20th century when students need to be prepared for the 21st century economy.

When faced with these trials, legislators need immediate and comprehensive answers to get their state colleges and universities back on course as global leaders. But they first need to ask the right questions. This is why the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is proud to release the second edition of 10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask about Higher Education, written by Dr. Vicki E. Murray, Education Studies Associate Director and Senior Policy Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.

“With shrinking budgets and growing demand for immediate solutions, legislators need to know what questions to ask in order to make informed policy decisions about higher education,” says Dave Myslinski, director of ALEC’s Education Task Force. “Our states must ensure that public higher education institutions are taking the proper steps toward continued excellence and innovation. This guide will help them reach the answers that America needs to remain viable in the future.”

The publication provides 10 key questions legislators should ask to make the most informed policy decisions for their state. It addresses crucial issues such as academic quality, accountability, workforce preparation, access and affordability, and educational innovations. All of these components are essential for crafting effective higher education policy.

In addition to the essential questions, this guide supplies a multitude of resources to aid legislators in their research. These include a compendium of over 150 online resources, each with a useful website description, and a flow chart of references from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Educational Sciences. By utilizing these resources, lawmakers will be able to ensure the continued success of American higher education.

To download a free copy of 10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask about Higher Education, please visit www.alec.org/10Questions.

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The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the nation’s largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators, with nearly 2,000 state legislators across the nation and more than 100 alumni members in Congress. ALEC’s mission is to promote free markets, individual liberty, and federalism through its model legislation in the states.