Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Testifies Before Senate Committee on Finance
Gov. Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, testified this morning before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance at a hearing on “Realizing a Competitive Education: Identifying Needs, Partnerships, and Resources.”
In his testimony, Gov. Wise discussed how the nation’s economy and global competitiveness are adversely impacted by the nation’s low graduation rates and poorly prepared high school graduates, citing analysis by the Alliance for Excellent Education:
- If the 1.2 million high school dropouts from the Class of 2006 had stayed in school and earned their diplomas, the U.S. economy would have seen an additional $309 billion in wages over these students’ lifetimes
- Since 75 percent of the nation’s state prison inmates, 59 percent of federal inmates, and 69 percent of jail inmates did not complete high school, $7.7 billion could be saved a year on crime costs just by raising the male graduation rate by 5 percent
- If the U.S. education system could raise minority high school graduation rates to the current level of whites, and if those new graduates were to go on to postsecondary education at similar rates, additional personal income would be more than $310.4 billion by 2020, yielding additional tax revenues and a considerably improved economic future for the individuals and their communities.
“This is an important time for the Senate Committee on Finance to be looking at this issue, because education is the cornerstone of our nation’s economic future,” said Gov. Wise. “With the No Child Left Behind Act up for renewal, Congress has the opportunity to strengthen it so that all children receive a high-quality education that prepares them for the 21st century. This should include designating federal funds specifically to improve low-performing secondary schools, increasing high school graduation rates, and improving every child’s ability to read and write at grade level.”
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.