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.
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.
Illustration by Mark Beauchamp