Educational Inequality Hurts Everyone

If we weren’t already convinced of the devastating long-term effects of the poor education many low-income children are receiving, here’s more proof.

A new McKinsey report, The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools, shows a strong correlation between low test scores in fourth-graders and high school dropout rates, low college attendance rates, and lower lifetime earnings. McKinsey shows that the achievement gap between mostly minority students in poorly-performing schools and others accounts for a permanent national recession that’s much larger than the current economic crisis.

In fact, the report estimates if we could close the achievement gap between low-income students and others in the U.S., the GDP would grow by $400-$670 billion, or 3-5%. And if students in the U.S. performed as well as those in Korea and Finland, the GDP could be a shocking $1.3-$2.3 trillion or 9-16% higher.

Once again, it is sobering to think of the difference a CSF scholarship may make in a child’s life. If we give someone a chance to attend a high-quality school and lay a foundation for life-long learning in their early years, they will have a much better chance of graduating from high school, going to college, and living longer, healthier, and more successful lives. And it’s not just the children who benefit. We are all better off.


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