The economic benefits of reducing drop-outs

February 26, 2010 at 1:30 pm 3 comments

Alan Kay just asked in another comment thread about the motivations for getting more students through CS education courses, perhaps with less than threshold understanding of computing.  I’ve had this piece queued up to post in my blog for some time — it’s an article arguing that there are enormous economic impacts of getting more kids through high school.  David Brooks has argued similarly that there are enormous impacts for getting more kids through undergraduate.  I think Alan’s point is well-taken — what is the threshold below which graduating someone is just dumping someone with a sophomoric level of knowledge on society?  Or is graduating someone with some level of knowledge better than graduating fewer (who are above threshold) and flunking out those who are below?

Few people realize the impact that high school dropouts have on a community’s economic, social, and civic health. Business owners and residents—in particular, those without school-aged children—may not be aware that they have much at stake in the success of their local high schools. Indeed, everyone—from car dealers and realtors to bank managers and local business owners—benefits when more students graduate from high school.

via The Economic Benefits from Halving the Dropout Rate: A Boom to Businesses in the Nation’s Largest Metropolitan Areas | Alliance for Excellent Education.

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