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Despite Success, Some Shortcomings in Texas Higher Ed

by Reeve Hamilton, The Texas Tribune

For nearly 14 years, the state’s higher education policy has been guided by a plan, adopted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, called “Closing the Gaps by 2015.” As the name suggests, time is running short.

Many of those who have tracked the progress of the plan, which was designed to bring the state’s higher education performance up to par with — not move it ahead of — comparable states, credit it with pushing back a discouraging tide.

“It is unquestionably a success overall,” said Fred Heldenfels, who recently cycled off the coordinating board after serving as its chairman for more than three years, “but there are certainly some asterisks.”

Some objectives in key areas — including college enrollment among certain ethnic groups and degrees awarded in math and science — are simply unlikely to be met by the 2015 deadline.

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