DC Digest - April 1, 2011
In Today's Issue:
- House Committee Holds Hearing on Patent Reform
- Op-Ed: An Alternative to Graduation Rates
- Higher Ed Watch: Fixing Pell Should Be About More Than Just Cutting Costs
- GAO Urges Improved Support for Recipients of Veterans' Educaition Benefits
- Obama's Approval Rating Rises Among College Students
A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives to overhaul the nation's patent system was the subject of a Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.
The House version of the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249), introduced before the hearing by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), would move the U.S. patent system from a first-to-file to a first-to-invent system, which most other countries currently use. It also would authorize the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which is dealing with an overwhelming backlog of patent applications, to set its own fees.
The bill is similar to legislation the Senate voted 95-5 to approve earlier this month.
John Vaughn, executive vice president of the Association of American Universities, presented testimony on behalf of the six higher education associations that have been working together on patent reform.
House Committee Holds Hearing on Patent Reform (ACEnet.edu)
John Vaugh's Testimony (Judiciary.house.gov)
OP-ED: AN ALTERNATIVE TO GRADUATION RATES
John Bassett, president of Heritage University, writes: Six-year graduation rates from the first point of entry are the only figures we seem to have for evaluating completion success. IPEDS data are not useful for management purposes, but they can be outright dangerous for policy making. Rather than leaving this for the U.S. Department of Education to fix, I am challenging colleagues in higher education to design an alternative system that is more valid, reliable, and useful.
An Alternative to Graduation Rates (InsideHigherEd)
HIGHER ED WATCH: FIXING PELL SHOULD BE ABOUT MORE THAN JUST CUTTING COSTS
"Over the last several weeks, both Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education have run articles and columns laying out various policy options for reigning in Pell costs. Many of these proposals are certainly worthy of consideration. But at Higher Ed Watch, we believe the conversation surrounding Pell Grants should not just be about cutting costs. It should also be about restructuring the program so that it can more effectively carry out the mission it was created to serve: eliminating the cost barriers that all too often keep low-income students from attending college."
Fixing Pell Should Be About More than Just Cutting Costs (HigherEdWatch)
GAO URGES IMPROVED SUPPORT FOR RECIPIENTS OF VETERANS' EDUCATION BENEFITS
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs needs to improve the outreach and support it provides to military veterans who receive federal education benefits, the Government Accountability Office said in a report on Wednesday. The report examined the agency's process for making veterans aware of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and other veterans' education programs and for ensuring that schools and veterans meet eligibility rules, among other things, and found room for improvement in some areas. -from Inside Higher Ed
VA Education Benefits: Actions Taken, but Outreach and Oversight Could be Improved (GAO.gov)
OBAMA'S APPROVAL RATING RISES AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS
According to a Harvard University survey released Thursday, Mr. Obama's approval rating among all Millennials, or 18-to-29-year-olds, was 55 percent, and his approval rating among students at four-year colleges was 60 percent - up from 51 percent in the last survey released in October. Slightly less than half of the Millennials surveyed were enrolled in college. This is the first time Mr. Obama's approval rating has increased among young Americans in the past three Harvard surveys, which showed a consistent downward trend.Read More:
Obama's Approval Rating Rises Among College Students (Chronicle of Higher Ed)