Economists Rick Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann presented a paper last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, showing just how much in dollars and sense it costs not to raise student achievement. If the U.S. could increase its average score on the PISA test by 25 points over the next twenty years (less than Poland did over the last six years) it “would result in an increase in the U.S. GDP of $40 trillion over the lifetime of the generation born in 2010.”
Now that would be a stimulus plan. But remember that average U.S. students achievement for 17 year olds has been stagnant for at least four decades despite more than doubling real expenditures per pupil. So this stimulus plan requires something other than money. It requires structural changes in public education to produce more achievement for every dollar already spent.
The new report by Hanushek and Woessmann builds on an earlier study that you can see in this Education Next article.