U.S. Education Secretary References All4Ed/EMSI Dropout Study

Published on Apr 29, 2011

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

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Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, wrote a guest op-ed this week for the Princeton student newspaper to hammer home the need for more quality teachers. In his piece, he quoted the jarring national statistics on dropouts — one in four high school students don’t get degrees or fail to finish on time.

Duncan also pointed to the work done by the Alliance for Excellent Education (with analysis from EMSI) to measure the economic benefits of reducing the dropout rate by 50%.

According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, if the United States could cut its dropout rate in half, those new graduates would likely earn as much as $7.6 billion more in an average year compared to their likely earnings without a high school diploma. That difference would translate into substantially more tax revenue, more homes purchased, more jobs created and fewer people straining the safety net.

Nations that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow. America’s resource for the future lies in schools, colleges and universities that prepare this country’s students to succeed in our global economy.

Read more on dropouts here.

Illustration by Mark Beauchamp