Published: June 12, 2007
Learning and Earning
An analysis shows the relationship between education and pay.
In today’s world, an adult with a high school diploma but no further education can expect to earn an annual income of around $27,500. That outstrips the $19,400 in annual earnings of the typical worker without a high school education, but not by much. In 2005, the federal government drew the poverty line at $19,971 for a family of four.
With a generally strong economy, even in the 21st century a person with just a high school diploma can probably find a job and manage to stay steadily employed. But chances are that he or she will be eking out a living rather than truly thriving. The jobs available to those who stop their education at high school are hardly the route to adult success. Nor are those the jobs for which the nation’s public schools should be preparing their students. Instead, there is growing agreement that public policy and high school reform should aim higher and prepare today’s youths for jobs with a real future.
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