Performance Funding 2.0 — linking higher education dollars to student success, not just enrollment — is taking off in many states, I write on the U.S. News site.
Instead of offering a bonus to colleges that improve outcomes, Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana are writing performance measures into base funding for higher education. Community colleges may be rewarded for the number of students who complete remediation, pass gateway courses and accumulate credits en route to a credential.
Looking at PF 1.0, a Community College Research Center study found “no firm evidence that performance funding significantly increases rates of remedial completion, retention, and graduation.” PF 2.0 is too new to generate any data.
“I’m not sure prior experiments put enough resources on the table” to make a difference, says Jamie Merisotis, CEO of the Lumina Foundation, which is funding research and development of PF 2.0. “The idea that we can’t measure learning outcomes is increasingly incorrect,” he says. “Higher education will be measured by outcomes for students—learning outcomes, critical thinking, can they get a job and make a living wage?”