Inseparable Imperatives: Equity in Education and the Future of the American Economy Report
November 26, 2012
As students of color and diverse ethnicities rapidly become the leading population of public school systems in numerous states, closing educational achievement gaps and providing a quality education to all students can secure the United State’s future economic prosperity. Noting that two-thirds of the U.S. economy is driven by consumer spending, this report argues that raising individuals’ education levels will boost their purchasing power and increase the national economy.
Nationally, only 27 percent of recovered dropouts are expected to complete a postsecondary degree after earning a high school diploma. This is an unacceptably low rate given that in today’s knowledge-based economy, a high school diploma just is not enough for workers looking to fill a job that can comfortably support a family. This state-by-state and national data builds on the Alliance's previous work that estimates the economic benefits if half of the high school dropouts from the Class of 2010 were to have graduated. This new data goes to the next level and illustrates the significant economic benefits that the nation and each state could see if 60 percent of those “new graduates” were to earn a degree beyond high school, meeting the national goal for postsecondary completion.
The High Cost of High School Dropouts: What the Nation Pays for Inadequate High Schools Issue Brief (PDF)
November 1, 2011
If the high school students who dropped out of the Class of 2011 had graduated, the nation’s economy would likely have benefitted from nearly $154 billion in additional income over the course of their lifetimes, according to the Alliance's issue brief, The High Cost of High School Dropouts: What the Nation Pays for Inadequate High Schools.
Education and the Economy: Boosting State and Local Economies by Improving High School Graduation Rates Issue Brief (PDF)
Every student deserves an education that prepares them for success beyond high school. This moral imperative to ensure strong educational outcomes for all students has been the clarion call of education reformers for decades. But in a time of fiscal uncertainty and shrinking budgets, the economic necessity to improve graduation rates is emerging as an additional key motivator. Years of research underscore the many links between education and the economy and the Alliance builds upon this research to project specific economic benefits that the nation, states, and local areas could see as a result of increasing graduation rates. These figures can be used as concrete examples for policymakers and stakeholders at all levels to underscore the economic imperative of addressing the dropout crisis.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 established that “separate education facilities are inherently unequal.” Nearly sixty years later, the hope of Brown v. Board has yet to be fulfilled, and the nation has a moral imperative to improve the educational outcomes of students of color and Native students. But, in a time of shifting demographics and an ailing economy, there is also an economic necessity to help all students unlock their potential and ensure that they graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and in their careers. This document discusses the economic benefits—including increased earnings, home and vehicle sales, job growth, and tax revenue—that would have come to the nation and each state if half of the class of 2010 students of color and Native students who dropped out had graduated with their peers.
Saving Now and Saving Later: How High School Reform Can Reduce the Nation’s Wasted Remediation Dollars Issue Brief (PDF)
May 5, 2011
For young people entering the twenty-first-century job market, high school graduation is no longer the finish line, but the starting line. While one-third of students will fail to graduate from high school, too many students who do graduate and make it to the postsecondary starting line find that they are underprepared for postsecondary work. A full 43 percent of those who begin postsecondary studies will fail to earn a degree after six years, and one of the major reasons is that far too many students receive inadequate preparation while in high school. This brief analyzes how improving America’s high schools and better preparing students for the challenges of both college and the modern workplace can dramatically reduce the amount of wasted dollars spent on remediation in college.
Education and the Economy: Boosting Metro Area Economies by Improving High School Graduation Rates Metro Area Profiles
Building on its previous work examining education and the economy, the Alliance for Excellent Education, with generous support from State Farm®, developed a sophisticated economic model that demonstrates the economic benefits of improving high school graduation rates. Throughout the month of April 2011, the Alliance released economic findings for the more than 220 U.S. metro areas in its analysis. The Alliance calculated the gross increase in important economic factors such as individual earnings, home and auto sales, job and economic growth, spending and investment, tax revenue, and human capital based on reducing by half the number of students from the Class of 2010 who failed to graduate on time.
Education and the Economy: Boosting State and National Economies by Improving High School Graduation Rates State Profiles
March 22, 2011
Cutting the high school dropout rate in half for just one class would likely lead to billions of dollars in increased earnings, provide a boost to home and automobile sales, and create more than 50,000 new jobs nationwide, according to a ground-breaking new study released on March 22 by the Alliance for Excellent Education. These findings, made possible through the generous support of State Farm®, demonstrate the economic benefits the nation—as well as each state—would likely see if its number of high school dropouts was cut in half. The study builds on the Alliance’s previous work examining education and the economy and provides clear evidence that in an information-age economy, education is the only currency. These findings include the growth in jobs, home ownership, levels of spending and investment, and car sales for the nation, fifty states and the District of Columbia.
The High Cost of Low Educational Performance: The Long-Run Economic Impact of Improving PISA Outcomes Report (PDF)
January 28, 2010
Relatively small improvements in students’ educational performance can have large impacts on a nation’s future economic well-being, according to The High Cost of Low Educational Performance: The Long-Run Economic Impact of Improving PISA Outcomes. PISA, the Program for International Student Assessment, was created by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in1997 to monitor the outcomes of education systems in terms of student achievement on a regular basis and within an internationally greed-common framework. This PISA report, to be presented on January 28 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, uses economic modeling to relate cognitive skills (as measured by PISA) to economic growth. The report shows that achievable gains in educational performance yield tens of trillions of dollars in gains in a nation’s gross domestic product.
Facts For Education Advocates: The Economic Impacts of Education (copublished with the College Board) Fact Sheet (PDF)
September 1, 2008
Recognizing that no tool is more important than information to help educators and other advocates improve the country’s educational system, the College Board and the Alliance for Excellent Education have formed a partnership to develop a series of fact sheets highlighting the state of American schools and their students. The second in a multi-issue series. After a summer hiatus, the series continues with a “Facts for Education Advocates” feature in this edition discussing some of the economic benefits of education.
Dropouts, Diplomas, and Dollars: U.S. High Schools and the Nation’s Economy Report (PDF)
August 27, 2008
The United States can no longer absorb the costs and losses associated with an education system that produces more than 1.2 million dropouts every year. This report examines the impact of this crisis on the dropouts themselves, as well as its effect on the economy, social fabric, and security of the nation, states, and local communities.
Potential Economic Impacts of Improved Education Fact Sheets
These economic impact fact sheets help policymakers and the public understand the extent of the economic costs to society of an educational system that serves so many students poorly and fails to graduate over 1.2 million students every year. It also provides an overview of the potential economic benefits that a state could enjoy were it to invest in a high school system that prepares all high school students for graduation and success after high school.
What Keeps Good Teachers in the Classroom? Understanding and Reducing Teacher Turnover Issue Brief (PDF)
February 26, 2008
Teachers are crucial to the success of our students. Yet many of them are leaving their schools and the profession every year, particularly in poorer, lower-performing schools. Several studies have attempted to identify why teachers leave and how to stem their turnover, but few have identified the quality of teachers who are departing. As in any profession, not all attrition is bad, but whether bad or good, it has financial ramifications. This brief explores the costs associated with teachers leaving the profession and their schools, the characteristics of those likely to leave, and what can be done to prevent unnecessary and costly turnover.
Hidden Benefits: The Impact of High School Graduation on Household Wealth Issue Brief (PDF)
February 1, 2007
Hidden Benefits: The Impact of High School Graduation on Household Wealth demonstrates that if high school dropouts who currently head households in the U.S. had instead earned diplomas, the nation’s economy would benefit from an additional $74 billion in wealth accumulated by families. The wealth gap between high school dropouts and high school graduates is even more severe than the better known income gap.
Healthier and Wealthier: Decreasing Health Care Costs by Increasing Educational Attainment Issue Brief (PDF)
November 1, 2006
Healthier and Wealthier argues that higher educational attainment improves a student’s future income, occupational status, and social prestige, all of which contributes to improved individual health. The brief cites several reasons why, including the fact that Americans with higher educational attainment have more insurance coverage, individuals who lack health insurance receive less medical care and have poorer health outcomes, and lower education levels generally lead to occupations with greater health hazards.
Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings Issue Brief (PDF)
August 1, 2006
Reforming the nation’s high schools could potentially increase the number of graduates and, as a result, significantly reduce the nation’s crime-related costs and add billions of dollars to the economy through the additional wages they would earn. Increasing the graduation rate and college matriculation of male students by only 5 percent could lead to combined savings and revenue of almost $8 billion each year.