The DeHavilland Blog

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The cost of education failings

I am such a huge fan of the National Alliance of State Science and Math Coalitions (NASSMC) - they provide an invaluable service in gathering and distributing important information on the state of education in general, and science and math in particular. If you haven't signed up for their daily emails, I would highly recommend it - go here (it's free, by the way).

Rather than editorialize, I'm just going to reproduce on of today's posts here in its entirety - it's a concise piece, and there are links in the post for those who want more information.

News Brief #3326 Category: Education Study Report
TITLE: "Researchers Tally Costs of Education Failings"

Researchers at a Columbia University symposium on the social costs of inadequate education warned that the U.S. cannot afford to ignore high dropout rates if it is to compete internationally.

The low incomes of high school dropouts relative to college graduates cost the nation about $158 billion in lost earnings and $36 billion in lost state and federal income taxes for each class of 18-year-olds, according to Cecilia Rouse, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University. In addition, she said, nearly 80 percent of dropouts depend on the government for health-care assistance.

Jane Waldfogel, a professor of social work and public affairs at Columbia, argued that educating single mothers who are dropouts could wipe 125,000 families off the public-assistance rolls annually, for a savings of $1.5 billion.

A one-percent increase in graduation rates would reduce the number of crimes nationally by about 100,000, translating into a $1.4 billion annual savings in law enforcement and incarceration costs, said Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley.

More information about the symposium is available at
SOURCE: Education Week, 02 November 2005 (p. 06)

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