Gateway to 21st Century Education
I know what you’re thinking: "Enough, Justin, we’re sick of you already." I know, but this is the last post for today, I promise.
I attended a St. Louis Regional Education Roundtable discussion this morning, about Missouri charter schools. Although most of the discussion was rather pedantic, focused on the nuts and bolts of charter school accountability, a couple of interesting statistics were discussed that I feel compelled to share with you all.
First, a study by the Friedman Foundation, focusing on the cost of failing to reform Missouri’s public education, has an interesting take on the numbers. The author calculates the annual tax revenue that is lost from Missouri high school dropouts whose earnings are precipitously lower than they would be if they had become high school graduates. For example, the median adjusted gross income of a high school graduate in Missouri is $24,996, compared to $15,373 for a high school dropout. Multiplied by the number of high school dropouts, that difference results in lost annual tax revenues ranging from $158?177 million.
The other quick statistic is more anecdotal than a hard fact. One of the panelists at today’s discussion, Cheri Shannon, is the superintendent of University Academy, a charter school in Kansas City. Commenting on the operating efficiency of charter schools, she explained that adopting a new textbook or curriculum in a public school takes five years on average (from her experience as a public school teacher/administrator). In a charter school, though, because of greater operating efficiency, a new curriculum can be adopted in less than one semester if the current model isn’t working.
Food for thought.