To Use Graduation Rates to Measure Excellence, You Have to Do Your Homework

Congress has postponed renewing the Higher Education Act for the time being, but when legislators reconsider it they will probably once again weigh proposals that would reward or punish institutions on the basis of their graduation rates. Critics of such proposals have reached the proper conclusion that the degree-completion rates that colleges must now publish are poor indicators of institutional effectiveness. Unfortunately, the critics have often reached that conclusion for the wrong