Cheryl Oldham Cheryl Oldham
Former Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Former Vice President, Education Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


March 14, 2019


Conventional wisdom might say that Washington is too polarized for legislators of different political stripes to work together. Not so fast. Today, a broadbipartisan group in both the U.S. House and Senate reintroduced the College Transparency Act (CTA), a bill that would help students enter the workforce with the skills that employers need by providing them with earnings and employment information by college graduates by major and program.

The CTA would give America’s students and their families accurate information on what kind of return they can expect on the substantial investments of time and resources that they make in higher education. The bill will enable students to make more informed choices about their education based on how past students on the same path have fared after completing specific post-secondary education programs. The legislation will also help address the skills gap, as it will allow students to find programs that not only suit their interests, but also meet employer needs and lead to success in the workforce post-graduation.

Both sides of the aisle support giving students a clearer picture of where their education will lead them simply by allowing federal agencies to safely and securely link data the government collects because it is common sense. This legislation strikes a critical balance by arming students with essential information to shape their future, while also setting firm guardrails to protect their personal information from misuse.

We applaud Sens. Bill Cassidy, Tim Scott, Elizabeth Warren, and Sheldon Whitehouse, as well as Reps. Paul Mitchell, Elise Stefanik, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Josh Harder for introducing the CTA, and urge their colleagues to help make the CTA become law.

Moreover, earlier this year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce revised its legislative scorecard to more fully reward members of Congress for helping to advance pro-business policies, while simultaneously encouraging members to reach the compromises necessary for effective governing. Rather than calculate a members’ score based solely on votes, the new scorecard is based 80 percent on voting record, 10 percent on “Legislative Leadership” by choosing to co-sponsor—or not—legislation identified by the Chamber, and 10 percent on cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that is not anti-business.

The Chamber identified the CTA as a bill that it will take into account in calculating members’ Legislative Leadership score, and thereby count toward members’ overall scores.

About the authors

Cheryl Oldham

Cheryl Oldham

Cheryl A. Oldham is the former vice president of education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is also former senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.