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ERIC Number: ED539547
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 39
A Dozen Economic Facts about K-12 Education. Policy Memo
Greenstone, Michael; Harris, Max; Li, Karen; Looney, Adam; Patashnik, Jeremy
Hamilton Project
The Hamilton Project's mission is advancing opportunity, prosperity, and growth. On both the individual and society-wide levels, a strong public education system enables Americans to achieve those objectives. Indeed, education has historically been the great equalizer and offered students of all backgrounds not the promise of equal outcomes but the prospect of equal opportunity. It has allowed for the growth and development of a thriving middle class, and it has helped make the proverbial rags-to-riches story not just a possibility but a narrative that is inherently American. Education is a powerful force for promoting opportunity and growth. It is not surprising that an individual's educational attainment is highly correlated with her income: college graduates generally earn more than less-educated Americans. Now, more than ever, it is essential for the United States to increase high school and college completion rates to make the nation more prosperous and to enable Americans to share the bounty of the economy more equally. Despite this impetus, educational completion rates in the United States have stagnated over the past few decades. Addressing these challenges is no easy task. It is often difficult to know where to begin to tackle a problem this complex. Moreover, education is a subject that by its nature evokes opinions that are highly personal, emotional, and ideological. In debating public policy, especially education, it is best to start at the basics: What are the facts? This memo proceeds as follows. Chapter 1 includes facts on the disparity in outcomes between more-educated and less-educated Americans, and explains why education matters. Chapter 2 highlights several weaknesses in America's K-12 education system and points to specific challenges for policymakers to address. Finally, Chapter 3 draws on the economic literature to identify several interventions that thus far have yielded positive results and are promising starting points for education reform. A technical appendix is included. (Contains 15 figures and 1 box.)
Hamilton Project. Available from: Brookings Institution. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-797-6484; Fax: 202-741-6575; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Brookings Institution, Hamilton Project
Identifiers - Location: United States