Tuesday afternoon the Governors’s Oregon Education Investment Board met at Portland State University’s University Place. Governor Kitzhaber was not there. Rudy Crew, Oregon’s new chief education officer, was there. I was there for the first half of the meeting. As usual, there was no discussion of expanding foreign language immersion programs or sending more students, both high school and college, to study abroad. Much of the agenda was the flotsam of old ideas and issues. One new item was a presentation by Patrick Kelly (here) of the National Center for Higher Education Management System (here) of the “Return-On-Investment Dashboard” (see photo of “Oregon Education Return on Investment Model”), which is an interactive simulation model to forecast the outcomes of various educational investments. Eventually, the interactive model will be online at the OEIB websites (here) for public interaction.
At the top (see photo) are three categories of inputs which an be manipulated and changed. Those categories are “K-12 Pipeline,” “College Participation Rates,” and “College throughput Rates.” As one or more of those rates is changed, presumably by public investments, the outputs at the bottom of the chart change. Those output charts are “Additional Credentials Awarded,” “Additional State Revenue Generated by 2025,” and Annual Investment vs. Return Through 2025.”
The National Center for Higher Education Management System already has online an interactive chart for “Calculating the Economic Value of Increasing College Credentials by 2025 – Oregon” (here).
I hope, as the OEIB puts the “Return-On-Investment Dashboard” online, that they will also put online a written narrative or explanation of the assumptions, formulas and algorithms used to make the calculations for the model. Without a rigorous review and discussion of the methods behind those calculations, the output of the model is almost worthless.