Editorial: Learning loss is bad everywhere, and demands immediate action
When it comes to education and learning loss, the country can stand to learn from some very bad news.
While the United States does not have a massive student loan debt problem, the U.S. education system does have a problem with long-term financial consequences for students. In the first year of college, about 25 percent of high school graduates do not earn a degree. Many drop out. Most leave the country within four years. The average high school graduate will earn about $30,000 less than they would have without one year of college, and about 15 percent will have to borrow money to pay off the $7,500 price tag of their college. This doesn’t even include the cost of college expenses like textbooks or transportation for students who do get a degree, which can be anywhere between $7,500 and $20,000. Meanwhile, those who take out a 529 plan to fund college have seen their contributions fall to almost nothing from 2011 to 2016.
So what should be done about this education problem?
In their State of the Union address in February, President Trump focused very heavily on the education issue. He called for ending the Education Department’s “disastrous” Common Core program, which is meant to push more curriculum into the classroom, and said he wanted “great accountability for every child.”
The president’s comments drew howls from Republicans, and from others who have long called Common Core a failure in education policy. But that’s not what the president really advocated for.
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While it’s true that Common Core has been a failure, that’s not the problem that needs to be corrected. It’s not the federal government’s fault that states didn’t follow through with the standards, it’s not the fault of the states that failed to hold schools accountable or provide sufficient funding, and it’s certainly not the fault of taxpayers who have spent tens of billions of dollars (not to mention the $100