As debate over the America COMPETES Act continues on Capitol Hill, we urge Congress to support the amendment (#298) sponsored by Rep. Andy Levin (MI); Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL); Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (OH); and Rep. Bryan Steil (WI). The bipartisan amendment would give students useful information as they plan for life after high school and would provide greater opportunities for young people to earn valuable credentials in growing fields.
One key provision of the amendment is the creation of a postsecondary data system that would report on student outcomes, such as enrollment, completion, and post-college earnings across colleges and majors, while ensuring the privacy of individual students. This information would help point students toward schools and programs of study best suited to their unique needs and desired outcomes to understand the return on investment in higher education.
Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan network of K-12 leaders, has long advocated for this type of data system, which is closely aligned to our Blueprint for Postsecondary Success. The system would not only help students and their families make smart decisions about college, it would provide privacy protected data that we as leaders could use to design effective schools and programs.
A second key provision of the proposed amendment is the expansion of Pell Grants for career training programs, including those that provide industry recognized credentials. These short-term programs quickly equip people with the skills they need for jobs that pay well in high-growth, in-demand fields.
College enrollment rates have sharply declined amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and young people are graduating into an uncertain job market. We must do everything we can to set students on a path to success—in this challenging time, and always. The above provisions would make a meaningful difference for students across the country. We urge Congress to support the amendment.