It seems common sense to me that strengthening the quality of public education would be in our national interest. A long time ago some people decided that education was so valuable to a developing nation that primary and secondary education needed to be publicly funded. But these days, is education being valued in the United States as highly as it should be?
Amidst the economy, unemployment, the middle east, and energy policies, education will play a large role in Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. In his 2012 State of the Union, he mentioned it as part of the means to create more and better jobs and help America compete internationally. And on Wednesday, when senior campaign strategist David Axelrod spoke with college students on my campus, he reinforced the value of education over and over again. Applause and gratitude to the other panelist and former state senator Rod Smith, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, who very emphatically made this point as well.
The event was part of a Greater Together Youth Summit to rally support for President Obama’s reelection campaign. I attended because I wanted to find concrete reasons to vote for Obama in 2012. Instead I learned why it is easier to affiliate myself with the Democratic party than the Libertarian or others. It all comes down to a shared vision of how this country should be. The issues I know and care about (conditions that are intimately tied, for sure) include education, not because I believe in one prescriptive method or in erasing all disparity, but because I believe that the U.S. can and should do a better job of educating students across the board. More education is associated with all sorts of improvements in health and income.
But back to my original intention, to provide a study supporting the claim that educational achievement is predictive of economic growth.
“Math appears to be the subject in which accomplishment in secondary school is particularly significant for both an individual’s and a country’s economic well-being.” The study by Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson and Ludger Woessmann compared the percentages of high achieving math students in the U.S. and other countries. Check out the interactive map to see how each state stacks up internationally.
I still haven’t included anything to really show that education is the key to strengthening our scientific and economic status in the world. Writing political articles is hard! Let’s chalk this up as an early draft of the emotion and basic direction, to be refined over time.