Performance funding doesn’t boost success

President Obama’s higher education plan lauds states that link college funding to student success measures, but there’s “little evidence that performance funding improves student success,” new studies find.

Obama also praised competency-based education, but federal financial aid is based on “seat time” rather than learning.

Massachusetts ties college $ to results

Massachusetts will link 50 percent of community college funding to improvements in graduation rates, workforce development and minority and low-income student success. That’s one of the most ambitious performance-funding programs in the nation.

California debates performance funding

California Gov. Jerry Brown wants to tie a percentage of university funding to performance goals, such as raising four-year graduation rates. But university officials say the plan is unrealistic.

Michigan bill: Let students choose districts

Michigan will consider letting students choose their school district, reports the Detroit Free Press.  Per-pupil funding would follow students to their public schools of choice.

The proposed Michigan Public Education Finance Act would  provide for learning at “any time, any place, any way and at any pace,” said Richard McLellan, who developed the proposal for Gov. Rick Snyder.  Districts would not “own” students.

The bill would:

• Allow students to access online learning from across the state, with the cost paid by the state. Districts that provide online courses would receive public funding based on performance.

• Provide a framework for funding based on performance, once the proper assessment and testing mechanisms are in place.

• Give scholarships of $2,500 per semester, to a maximum of $10,000, to students who finish high school early.

• Encourage year-round schooling by having a 180-day school year spread over 12 months instead of nine, with a break of no more than two weeks.

Naturally, there’s lots of opposition. Don Wotruba, deputy director for the Michigan Association of School Boards, said the state already is pursuing online learning and school choice. “But it’s monitored,” he said. “The answer is not to say, ‘Here’s the money. Make your own choices.’ ”

Tennessee is considering vouchers for low-income students, reports Ed Week.

College isn’t for everyone

College isn’t for everyone.

Also on Community College Spotlight: Frustrated by low graduation rates, states are experimenting with performance-based funding of community colleges.

Tech colleges to link funding, job placement

Technical colleges in Texas are working on a plan to link all funding to graduates’ employment and earnings. Job training is the mission of the two-year public colleges.

Performance Funding 2.0 takes off

Performance Funding 2.0 — linking higher education dollars to student success, not just enrollment — is taking off in many states. It’s not just a token bonus any more. Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana are writing performance measures into base funding for higher education.

Boomers go back to college for job training

Baby boomers are going to community college for job retraining.

Also on Community College Spotlight: Performance funding may not change student outcomes.

States link $ to college performance

States are linking dollars to college performance. In most states, not much money is involved, but Tennessee plans to base 90 percent of funding on students’ outcomes.

Also on Community College Spotlight: Hit with funding cuts, community colleges are getting creative to raise money and cut spending.

That $5 billion to repair community college buildings should be spent to forgive the interest on student loans, a dean writes.

‘Early-college’ high schools lose funding

‘Early-college’ high schools are struggling to survive now that Gates Foundation funding has run out. Some states pay for high school students to take college classes, but others do not.

Also on Community College Spotlight: Indiana colleges get pay-for-degrees funding.