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Best Economic Stimulus is Diploma, According to National Education Reform Advocate in Keynote Address at National Press Club

Press Release:

Best Economic Stimulus is Diploma, According to National Education Reform Advocate in Keynote Address at National Press Club

Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, told participants at the education summit “America’s High Schools: What Works? What’s Next?” that the best economic stimulus is a high school diploma.

The governor examined the impact dropouts have on the economy and ways to address the crisis during his keynote address at the event, which was presented by U.S. News & World Report in association with Intel.

“I am bullish that secondary reform can happen and can happen soon,” said Wise during the Oct. 20 speech, which was carried live on C-SPAN2. “Every school day, nearly seven thousand students drop out of school. They are our ‘non-performing assets,’ and they will cost us $1.5 trillion over their lifetimes.

He continued, “To change this course requires major policy action. Practice needs to become policy. If it’s working for five hundred students here, what can we do to make it available to the six million students most at-risk nationwide?”

Among his policy recommendations, Gov. Wise argued for the need for “common, national college- and work-ready standards that are internationally benchmarked and aligned to modern business needs. Right now we are operating with fifty different sets of standards, ranging in quality and not necessarily up to international standards. If you break your leg and you go to see a doctor in South Dakota, do you expect different treatment than you do in Tennessee or Texas? Do you think the military is training people differently in Killeen, Texas, than they are at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina? Of course not. There is one standard: the highest standard.”

“We know that our students aren’t just competing with each other. They are competing internationally for jobs and for our future.”

Gov. Wise’s speech in its entirety is available at

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life.

For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit:

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