U.S. Graduation Rates Need to Go Higher for Maximum Economic Impact

In 2015 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a report looking at the economic implications of education. According to the study, if every 15-year old student reaches at least baseline Level 1 on the PISA scale, there would be significant benefits to sustainable economic growth. Right now, however, even though the U.S. high school graduation rate is at a high, one in five high school students still fails to earn a diploma on time. The Alliance for Excellent Education has released new data on U.S. graduation rates, showing the benefits to the country if the U.S. achieved a 90% graduation rate.

“The two areas of rising rates getting major attention are the Federal Reserve and the high school graduation rates,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance and former governor of West Virginia. “For the short-term impact on the nation’s economy, the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates has generated a lot of attention, but over the long term, rising graduation rates are much more important for the nation’s economy.”

According to the Alliance, a 90% graduation rate would:

  • Create 65,150 new jobs
  • Boost gross domestic product by $11.5 billion annually
  • Increase annual earnings by $7.2 billion
  • Increase annual spending by $5.3 billion
  • Increase federal tax revenue by $1.1 billion

Read “THE GRADUATION EFFECT: Increasing National High School Graduation Rate Key to Job Creation and Economic Growth, New Alliance Analysis Finds,” by Jason Amos, Staight A’s Newsletter, Alliance for Excellent Education (January 12, 2016)

Learn more at impact.all4ed.org.


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