Failing to educate creates permanent national recession
Posted Friday, April 24, 2009
Failing to invest in high quality education is a drag on the U.S. economy, according to a new report from strategic analysis McKinsey and Company (thank you, ECS).
The report, titled The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools, states, among other things, that if the United States provided a better education to low-income and minority students, we could boost our annual gross domestic product by as much as 16 percent.
The study offers several pearls of wisdom, including:
“By underutilizing such a large proportion of the country's human potential, the US economy is less rich in skills than it could be. The result is that American workers are, on average, less able to develop, master, and adapt to new productivity-enhancing technologies and methods than they could otherwise have been.”
… and …
“ These educational gaps impose on the United States the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession.”
Read the full report here.
The report offers the grim details of the U.S. standing on international achievement tests (we're 24th and 25th in math and science), but also makes the point that education spending doesn't, in all cases, translate to better achievement.
The report, however, does underscore the importance of being able to recruit and retain high quality teachers – and makes a specific point to say that school districts without resources get out-bid by those who do. That, of course, has implications for South Dakota.
And now for the broader question – why do we need more resources in K-12 systems in South Dakota.
Open Forum's take: we get outstanding value for the resources we invest now, performing well on state tests and slightly above average on national assessments.
But, keep in mind – being slightly above average compared to a nation that is dramatically below average isn't much of an accomplishment. With the return on investment South Dakota receives, imagine how well our education system could perform if we simply decided to treat education as an investment, rather than an expense.
Categories:Education Funding, Achievement Gap,
Comments (0) | Link to this story | Send to a friend | Print Story