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ERIC Number: ED510893
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 56
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Dropouts, Diplomas, and Dollars: U.S. High Schools and the Nation's Economy
Amos, Jason
Alliance for Excellent Education
America's high schools are hemorrhaging talent at the rate of seven thousand students every school day--a steady drip that grows into a tidal wave of more than 1.2 million dropouts each year, a number equal to the entire population of Dallas or San Diego. Jobs that require relatively little education are increasingly done by machines or shipped overseas, and individuals who fail to earn a high school diploma are at a great disadvantage when it comes to finding a good-paying job. They are also generally less healthy and die earlier, are more likely to become parents when very young, are more at risk of tangling with the criminal justice system, and are more likely to need social welfare assistance. Even more tragic, their children are more likely to become high school dropouts themselves, as are their children's children, and so on, in an endless cycle of poverty. High school dropouts influence a community's economic, social, and civic health as well. Having a large number of high school dropouts makes it more difficult for cities and states to attract new business. At the same time, additional spending on social programs and the criminal justice system drains state and federal coffers. Increasing numbers of dropouts translate not only into lost human potential and lower tax revenues, but also a vitiated democracy and a weakened ability to compete in the global economy. The nation can no longer afford to lose more than a million students every school year. This report seeks to help all Americans--whether they have a direct connection with schools or not--understand their own personal stake in ensuring that every child becomes a high school graduate, prepared for success in college, the modern workplace, and life. Appended are: (1) Estimated Additional Lifetime Income if High School Dropouts Graduated with Their Class in 2007-2008; (2) The Impact of a 5 Percent Increase in Male High School Graduation Rates on Crime Reduction and Earnings; (3) Lifetime Savings for Medicaid and Uninsured Medical Coverage Costs if All Students in the Class of 2005-2006 Graduated from High School; (4) Increase in Wealth if All Heads of Households Were High School Graduates; (5) Annual Savings and Earnings Benefits from a Reduced Need for Community College Remediation; and (6) Additional Personal Income if the Educational Attainment of African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans Increases to That of White Students by 2020. Appendices methodology is also included. (Contains 155 endnotes.)
Alliance for Excellent Education. 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-828-0828; Fax: 202-828-0821; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; MetLife Foundation
Authoring Institution: Alliance for Excellent Education
Identifiers - Location: United States