Clifford Adelman


Clifford Adelman is now a Senior Associate with the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), has been around.  Having taught and served as a college academic administrator, came to the U.S. Department of Education on a 1-year fellowship in 1979, was asked to stay, and didn’t leave until 2006.  Reason: the process that produced A Nation at Risk (1983) started, and he wrote the study on which the Commission’s high school curriculum recommendations were based.  Dissatisfied with the treatment of higher education in that report, he designed the project that subsequently produced Involvement in Learning (1984), served as its amanuensis, and wrote the first study of the standardized test scores of graduates.  Conducted studies of assessment and testing in the late 1980s, then learned some statistics and programming, and took on the task of editing and analyzing the major U.S. national longitudinal studies data bases.  Wrote ten monographs in the course of this effort, the best known of which are Women at Thirtysomething: Paradoxes of Attainment (1991);  Tourists in Our Own Land: Cultural Literacies and the College Curriculum (1992); Women and Men of the Engineering Path (1998); Answers in the Tool Box: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment (1999); Moving Into Town–and Moving On: the Community College in the Lives of Traditional-age Students (2005), and The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to Degree Completion from High School Through College (2006).  Recent published articles and studies have addressed the “propaganda of numbers” in reports on the status of higher education, the “access problem,” and what U.S. higher education can learn from the Bologna Process (The Bologna Club, 2008 and Learning Accountability from Bologna, 2008).  With Lumina Foundation support, is currently directing IHEP’s “global performance” project.