October 13, 2017

Dropping Knowledge

The Washington Post released some research on the graduation rates of Pell Grant students from public universities.  The data compares the Pell Grant student graduation rates to those of other students and amongst public universities.  UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State, the only N.C. universities in the 100 schools studied, each had graduation rates four percentage points lower than the overall graduation rates.  Overall among the publics, UNC-Chapel Hill had the fourth highest Pell Grant student graduation rate and NC State was 20th.

For Your Consideration

The Rand Corporation released a progress report summarizing the early results of an initiative in the tri-state Appalachia region of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.  Funded by local corporate and philanthropic interests, the Appalachia Partnership Initiative seeks to create a “sustainable STEM education and energy and manufacturing workforce development ecosystem.” Frankly, the progress report results are predictable: collaboration and coordination improved in the first two years but were still not where initiators hoped.  For North Carolina, the report and the sponsoring entity show how another region is addressing manufacturing job loss.

In the Weeds

The American Enterprise Institute has a new white paper evaluating U.S. Agricultural Policy, which the authors feel is in “disarray.” The paper’s chief argument is that federal subsidies largely go to large, commercial farmers who sit above the average U.S. household income. Specifically, the authors state that “more than 50 percent of the approximately $7 billion spent annually on the new direct farm subsidy programs introduced in the 2014 Farm Bill also flows to the largest 10 percent of all farm businesses.”

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