Bob Wise, President Of The Alliance For Excellent Education, Issues Support Statement For Graduation Promise Act
Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, has issued the following statement in support of the Graduation Promise Act (GPA), introduced today by U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Richard Burr (R-NC):
“Thanks to the work of Senators Bingaman, Kennedy and Burr, the Graduation Promise Act meets a critical need at a crucial time. With one-third of our high school students not graduating, and another third graduating without the knowledge and skills to succeed in college or the workforce, our high schools are floundering and in desperate need of reform. The nation’s high dropout rates are a cry for federal action. The Graduation Promise Act identifies the needs of our struggling high schools and students, provides strategies for improvement, and assigns appropriate funding for implementation.
“There are two groups affected whenever a students drop out of high school – the students themselves and the rest of us. Students who do not finish school quickly earn less than their classmates who do, and a million dollars less than those who go on to get college degrees. Almost 1.2 million students did not graduate in 2006; this will cost the nation more than $309 billion in lost wages, taxes, and productivity over their lifetimes.
“Even if they do graduate, a third will not have the basic skills needed to succeed in college or work in high school. This means that community colleges have to bring these students up to speed in coursework they should have mastered in high school. These remedial classes are costing taxpayers $1.4 billion each year. Students who take remedial classes are more likely to drop out of college, and the economy loses another $2.3 billion annually in lost wages. High school dropouts also impact the nation in terms of health costs – without a diploma, students are more likely to have health issues, costing the nation another $17 billion over the lifetimes of each class of dropouts.
“Our economic future depends on the success of today’s high school students. The Graduation Promise Act provides much-needed resources and programs that ensure all students graduate, prepared to succeed in postsecondary education and in the 21st century workplace.”
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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: www.all4ed.com.