Anonymous diploma registration

This afternoon, I give a presentation at the Minnesota Population Center, “The Graduation-Rate Debate, Higher-Education Unit Records, and Public Policy:
Serious Academic Discussion, Political Tragedy, or Farce?” The MPC was very kind to ask me to stay after the conference here and be a seminar speaker. In the talk, I will present the idea of anonymous diploma registration as a technical solution to measuring graduation in both K-12 and higher education. This morning’s column in Inside Higher Ed, A Compromise on Unit Records, is the higher ed piece, and I have put together an online tutorial on the general idea. The audio was recorded during the conference, so it’s not polished, but it will get the gist across.
The talk this afternoon is not just about anonymous diploma registration. It’s about the problems of graduation measures as an interesting puzzle in the sociology of knowledge. Why are the measures so bad? is relatively trivial if you look at the technical issues, but it’s fascinating if you realize that we’ve had several waves of folks proposing mediocre attrition and completion measures (at best), corresponding with waves of public arguments about dropping out.
For those of you who navigated here from Inside Higher Ed, welcome, and look around!

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