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One of the few benefits of recession is that it begs us to question the policies that have led us to such a situation. Much has been said about economic decisions, lax regulation, and corporate greed but there has been less discussion about the societal structure which has fomented such economic turmoil. At the heart of our society is a sytem which fails to adequately prepare vast numbers of children to succeed in the Information Age.
A new study by the consulting firm McKinsey entitled “The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools” (available at www.mckinsey.com) estimates that if we had closed the racial achievement gap and black and Latino student performance had caught up with that of white students by 1998, U.S. GDP last year would have been between $310 and $525 billion higher. If the gap between low-income students and the rest had been narrowed, U.S. GDP in 2008 would have been $400 to $670 billion higher.