The Payoff to Skills is High
Fact 1: Both cognitive and soft skills—such as perseverance, tenacity, and social skills—play an important role in shaping economic outcomes.
Fact 2: The skills premium has increased dramatically.
Fact 3: Educational attainment has increased in the United States, especially among women.
Fact 4: Americans who did not attend college form a larger share of those who live below the poverty line.
Fact 5: An additional year of schooling increases earnings and reduces the likelihood of an individual being unemployed, on welfare, or in poverty.
The K-12 System Faces Serious Challenges
Fact 6: The majority of U.S. public school students—over 27 million children—attend a high poverty school.
Fact 7: On average, states with higher concentrations of children in poverty receive less antipoverty (Title I) funding per child.
Fact 8: Average performance among low-income students declines as their population share increases.
Fact 9: The salary of public school teachers has declined relative to other career options
Fact 10: Spending on K-12 students varies substantially by state.
Fact 11: Most education spending comes from state and local revenues
Promising Approaches to Improve Educational Outcomes
Fact 12: Early childhood interventions can raise high school graduation rates.
Fact 13: Interventions for older children are not too late—interventions during high school also raise graduation rates.
Fact 14: Several charter schools have been successful at raising student achievement, but gains are not universal.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Fourteen Economic Facts on Education and Economic Opportunity | The Hamilton Project