Measuring Up 2008


By James B. Hunt Jr.,
Chairman, National Center's Board of Directors

Since 2000, the Measuring Up report cards have evaluated the progress of
the nation and all 50 states in providing Americans with education and
training beyond high school through the bachelor’s degree. In their totality, the five editions of the national and state report cards constitute the most extensive assessment ever of the educational performance of American higher education. Our purpose in the Measuring Up series is to assist the nation and the states in improving higher education opportunity and effectiveness.

The 2008 National Report Card: Modest Improvements, Persistent Disparities, Eroding Global Competitiveness

By Patrick M. Callan
President, The National Center

Pat CallanMeasuring Up 2008 is the most recent in the series of national and state-by-state report cards for higher education that was inaugurated in 2000. The key findings this year reveal that the nation and most of the 50 states are making some advances in preparing students for college and providing them with access to higher education. However, other nations are advancing more quickly than the United States; we continue to slip behind other countries in improving college opportunities for our residents.

What's New in Measuring Up 2008

Measuring Change Over Time

This year, however, a state’s Change Over Time is determined by its improvement or decline in performance on a key indicator in each performance category. The key indicators were selected because they are broad gauges for understanding state success in the performance areas.

Improvements in Data

A number of new data sources are used for Measuring Up 2008 because the new data provide states with a more comprehensive portrayal of their performance. This year, the National Center replaced the data derived from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) with the American Community Survey (ACS), which is also administered by the Census Bureau.

About Measuring Up

The Measuring Up 2008 national and state report cards on higher education were made possible by grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation for Education. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education promotes public policies that enhance Americans’ opportunities to pursue and achieve high-quality education and training beyond high school.  The National Center is solely responsible for Measuring Up 2008. For further information about the National Center and its publications, visit