Ivory Toldson
**FILE** Ivory Toldson, author of "No BS (Bad Stats): Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear about Black People," speaks during an event at the National Press Club in northwest D.C. on Feb. 25. (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)

A former executive director for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities during the Obama administration has been appointed to a prestigious higher education panel.

Ivory Toldson, an esteemed academic and author who serves as president and CEO of the QEM Network, will serve on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-supported panel that consists of 30 higher education leaders, business representatives and foundation experts. They will study the value of earning college degrees and post-high school certificates.

“I am pleased to announce my appointment to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored Commission on the Value of Postsecondary Education,” said Toldson, a highly sought-after panelist on issues regarding education. “My passion on this subject developed years ago when I made the decision to address the issue as an educator, and as a policy influencer. This appointment will allow me to share ideas and insights on the subject of higher education with others who are interested in its direction and impact.”

The announcement comes as Congress begins consideration of The Higher Education Act of 2019 and the White House considers releasing data that reveals earnings data from the various disciplines in which college graduates engage.

The new scrutiny on salaries for degree earners versus certificate earners, economic mobility after college, and investments in the field of education, are said to be fueling the interest in evaluating the cost of higher education.

“We definitely are hoping that it will affect the reauthorization of [the Higher Education Act] and look at the way we’re looking at things like Pell, and federal and state match,” Mildred Garcia, commission co-chair, said during a recent conference call on the effort. “We are hoping that this commission can continue its work over the year, and at the same time inform the policymakers of what our findings are.”

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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