A Mind is An Expensive Thing to Waste

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.

One Response to A Mind is An Expensive Thing to Waste

  1. Brian Gottlob says:

    Not really an epiphany but an excellent effort to monetize the aggregate impacts of educational achievement (or lack thereof) nonetheless.

    Because there is general agreement on relationship between educational achievement (the quality of human capital) and economic performance the real research frontier exists in monetizing te aggregate impacts of educational reforms, a more difficult task. The impact of reforms on test scores gets us, at best, only half way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s