OECD:Investmnt in Secondary Education Key to US Econ Stability

Author: Market News International | Category: News

By David Nix

WASHINGTON (MNI) – The U.S. needs to focus on investing in
secondary education in order to remain on the cutting edge of innovation
in the world, the OECD said Tuesday.

“The education system, improvements in education, pay a double
dividend. They pay a dividend in equality and they pay a dividend of
innovation,” OECD Deputy Secretary General Richard Boucher said.

The OECD released its semi-annual report on the U.S. economy urging
greater investment and a new method of financing investment as means to
improve the quality of the workforce nationwide.

“As a percentage of GDP, the United States spends much more on
education than most other OECD countries, yet achievements of 15-year
olds in the United States is just slightly above the OECD average in
reading, average in science, and slightly below average in mathematics,”
the report said.

Boucher said at a briefing on the report, “We finance education
locally instead of state-wide, which means that poor areas have poor
education systems. And so poor kids, in poor areas, get poor educations
and that local financing is perpetuating, in some ways, this education
problem.”

In the context of economic improvement, Boucher said, “A lot of our
problems appear at the secondary level and getting kids well educated
through secondary school improves their achievement in tertiary … and
ultimately, improves the quality of our workforce.

“What you have is an economy where good skills, higher level skills
are very much in demand. And people with higher level skills, meaning
tertiary education … are very much in demand, command higher and
higher wages,” Boucher said.

The OECD report highlights the potential for economic gain saying,
“a boost in US PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment)
scores of just 25 points over the next 20 years — which corresponds to
the performance gains that some countries achieved between 2000 and 2009
alone — would imply a cumulated gain of USD 41 trillion for the US
economy over the lifetime of the generation born in 2010.”

** MNI Washington Bureau: (202) 371-2121 **

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