Improving high-school education could be worth 53-Million dollars to the Iowa economy, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education. Spokesman Bob Wise, the former governor of West Virginia, says grads unprepared for college have to take remediation classes.
In preparation done in high school, Wise says we’re not giving a rigorous enough curriculum, so when the student gets to a university, college or community college, they have to take remedial courses — to remedy what they didn’t already learn. He says courses should be more rigorous in high schools. He says it’s “paying double” because teaching what should have been learned in high school costs taxpayers double but also costs time for the students, who “lose” that year.
Not counting universities or private four-year institutions, Wise says the cost in community-colleges alone is estimated at 26-Million dollars or more for the cost of offering remedial courses. Worst of all, that remediation slows down a student and cuts their chance of finishing a four-year degree.
The report says potential wages will be lower for the students who’ll earn less pay because they drop out, and that lost earning power totals 27-Million, bringing to 53-Million dollars the cost of their inadequate education. Wise says the solution’s to toughen up courses in high school to be sure graduates will be prepared to face college. And the cost? He says this report makes clear we’re already paying for it.
We’re going to have to pay for quality teachers and high schools regardless, if Iowa and the Midwest are to be truly globally competitive. Wise says “It’s not Omaha competing against Des Moines anymore, we’re all competing against Bangalore, Beijing and Berlin.”
Wise heads the Alliance for Excellent Education, which issued its financial calculations on the cost of inadequate high school education in a report titled “Paying Double: Inadequate High Schools and Community College Remediation.”
Related web sites:
Alliance for Excellent Education report