Mark Schneider is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Vice President at the American Institutes for Research, based in Washington DC. Prior to joining AIR, he served as the U.S. Commissioner of Education Statistics from 2005-2008. He is also a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He is the author and editor of numerous article and books on education policy, including Getting to Graduation: The Completion Agenda in Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), Higher Education Accountability (Palgrave, 2010), Charter Schools: Hope or Hype? (Princeton University Press, 2007), and Choosing Schools (Princeton University Press, 2000), which won the Policy Study Organization’s Aaron Wildavsky Best Book Award. Schneider has been working to increase accountability by making data on college productivity more publicly available. To that end, he is one of the creators of www.collegemeasures.org and serves as the president of College Measures LLC, a joint venture of AIR and Matrix Knowledge Group.
Vice President for New Education Initiatives, American Institutes for Research, 2008-present
Distinguished Professor of Political Science, 2004-present (on leave); Professor and Department Chairman, 1986-2004; Director, Graduate Studies, 1985-86; Assistant Professor, 1974-78, Department of Political Science, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
Commissioner, National Center for Education Statistics, 2005-2008; Deputy Commissioner, National Center for Education Research, 2004-2005, U.S. Department of Education
Vice President, 2000-2001; President, Public Policy Section, 2000-2001, American Political Science Association
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan, 1973-74
Research Associate, Institute for Research in Social Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1972-74
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.A., Brooklyn College, City University of New York
President Obama recently laid out a national "completion agenda" with the goal of making the U.S. the best-educated nation in the world by the year 2020. Getting to Graduation explores the reforms that we must pursue to recover a position of international leadership in higher education as well as the obstacles to those reforms.
"We have entered an era where continuing to conduct [higher education] 'business as usual' will be increasingly difficult, if not impossible." -- Andrew P. Kelly and Mark Schneider in Getting to Graduation: The Completion Agenda in Higher Education
The “completion agenda” has succeeded in its goal of creating urgency around the production of college credentials, and that awareness among policy makers and higher education’s big thinkers is momentum in itself. But with lofty completion targets set by foundations and President Obama, the agenda's advocates have a long row to hoe.
Colleges, universities and accrediting bodies that continue to resist a movement toward quality control and transparency will find themselves unable to compete with those that embrace it. And while accreditors will rarely put a college out of business, armies of prospective students equipped with a clearer notion of quality and cost can do just that.
Community colleges are subsidized through direct state and local government appropriations and through student grant programs. Every student who drops out represents an investment loss by the taxpayers in that student's uncompleted education.
AEI education expert Mark Schneider and Lu Michelle Yin explore the harmful consequences of low community college graduation rates and propose policy solutions in the latest edition of Education Outlook.
An ever-increasing number of individuals are turning to community college for their higher education. Online delivery of classes and competency-based models of higher learning should be employed and innovations from for-profit schools should be borrowed to increase the number of Americans completing their associate’s degrees.
Many more factors figure into the cost of a bachelor's degree than just tuition. Taxpayers may contribute a substantial tax subsidy or, in rare cases, receive a moderate net "profit" per bachelor’s degree--fueling an intense discussion about the true costs of higher education and who pays for them.