Sobering numbers about education

The importance of a quality education means so much to the success of a person in our work force today. Seems we are bombarded with facts and figures showing how important education can be and other figures showing how students in the U.S. are lagging behind others in performance.
Case in point: Earlier this year, Dr. Albert W. Neimi Jr., dean of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Texas and former University of Georgia faculty member, made a presentation about the economy during a speech in Atlanta.
We reported on the presentation at the time, but today let’s take a second look at some of the data Neimi presented on the value of education and student achievement.
His data pointed out the difference in earning power of a worker based on education. The data listed the average annual earnings of a person with some high school education at $21,023. A high school graduate’s earnings jumped to $31,283. Here are the average annual earnings of those with college educations: Associate degree, $39,506; bachelor’s degree, $58,613; master’s, $70,856; doctorate, $99,697; and for a professional, $125,019.
Clearly the more education the increase in earning potential.
A startling bit of information came from another exhibit of data in Neimi’s report. It ranked 2009 high school student performance on math and science among 20 countries.
The startling part was the U.S. ranked 17th among the 20 countries. Only Italy, Greece and Mexico ranked lower than the U.S. Finland topped the list of performers followed by South Korea, Canada, Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Poland, France, Norway and Spain. Then came the U.S.
Many people say numbers can be used to slant any story. This data clearly tells us education increases earning potential, and our country is far behind in student performance in math and science. That part is troublesome.


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