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Good News on Dropout Rates, Bad News on Offshoring, and the Value of Early Education

Some good news: the scare numbers on low graduation rates in our high schools are overstated, according to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute.  A much hyped factoid that half of African American and Hispanic students don't graduate from high school is based on bad data.  In fact, the last four decades have seen tremendous progress in increasing high school completion, the best estimates being that 82% of students graduate with a regular diploma with black and Hispanic students showing a 74% graduation rate.   And about half of the students who don't get a regular degree eventually receive a GED, which allows entry into college, the military or other options requiring high school.

Less encouraging is another EPI study on the offshoring of jobs to other countries.  The threat of offshoring is increasingly used to force US workers to accept lower pay and public policy, including the tax codes, tends to reward companies for such offshoring, rather than encouraging them to compensate workers losing jobs and retrain them for alternatives.

Why invest in early childhood education?  How about the $1 trillion EACH YEAR in additional economic growth by 2065, the estimate by the Center on Children and Families in a new policy brief.   In a knowledge economy, investing early in the American people seems to be one of the safest investments in the future we could make.