School as Scandal

More

Thanks to the Economist, I discovered an interesting report from McKinsey & Co. on the costs of our inadequate educational system. A key finding:

If the United States had in recent years closed the gap between its educational achievement levels and those of better-performing nations such as Finland and Korea, GDP in 2008 could have been $1.3 trillion to $2.3 trillion higher. This represents 9 to 16 percent of GDP.

Ok, those are small, homogenous countries and maybe don't offer a good comparison. But merely bringing black and Latino students up to the level of white ones in the U.S. would add 2 to 4 points to GDP. The economic consequences of our education failures dwarf the nation's current financial woes:

...the persistence of these educational achievement gaps imposes on the United States the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession.

What a sad story at every level.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Daniel Akst

Dan Akst is a journalist, essayist and novelist who wrote three books. His novel, The Webster Chronicle, is based on the lives of Cotton and Increase Mather. More

Dan Akst is a journalist, novelist and essayist whose work has appeared frequently in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Wilson Quarterly, and many other publications.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In