Check out this op-ed by Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, and Edward B. Rust Jr., chairman of the board and chief executive officer of State Farm Mutual® and its principal affiliates.
Boosting Graduation Rates
By: Bob Wise and Edward B. Rust Jr.
Last Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden issued a call to boost college graduation rates across the country and meet President Obama's goal of the United States having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. A key component of reaching that goal is graduating more students from high school. Every year, more than one million students leave high school without a diploma.
Most individuals understand the importance of furthering their education. Currently, high school dropouts are over three times more likely to be unemployed than are college graduates. Over the course of his or her lifetime a high school dropout earns, on average, about $260,000 less than a high school graduate. However, results from a new study conducted by the Alliance for Excellent Education and funded by State Farm®, demonstrate that individuals are not the only ones who benefit from better educational outcomes -- we all do.
According to the study, cutting the national high school dropout rate in half for the Class of 2010 would mean these "new graduates" would likely earn an additional $7.6 billion in an average year, which translates to an additional $5.6 billion in spending and another $2 billion in investments across the nation. This increased spending and investments would likely lead to 54,000 new jobs and an annual increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) of $9.6 billion. It is important to remember that these numbers represent the value of decreasing the dropout rate for a single high school class, but the cumulative benefits over a longer period of time would be exponentially greater. Read Entire Post