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Education Opinion

Study: Dropping Out Is More Dangerous Than Smoking

By Matthew Lynch — July 13, 2015 1 min read

Studies are a dime a dozen these days, but there are still plenty that force you to pay attention.

Take a Washington Post story that talks about a new study published in PLOS ONE, a journal from the Public Library of Science.

According to the Post’s review of the study, “more than 145,000 deaths could have been prevented in 2010 if adults who did not finish high school had earned a GED or high school diploma - comparable to the mortality rates of smoking.”

That’s staggering considering smoking and education aren’t necessarily congruent.

For decades Americans have been warned about the horrors of smoking because of the adverse effects that it has on one’s health. While having an education has always been synonymous with success, not sure if anyone, or any study for that matter, has ever gone this far to connect poor health, or death related to poor health, to lacking a proper education.

The study, according to the Post, doesn’t directly correlate poor education with death. Rather it counts death as “an estimate of education’s impact on mortality, and do not indicate direct causality.”

While this study doesn’t directly state that failure to attain an education will result in death, it does portend that death is a consequence of one’s failure to gain an education. Make sense?

This type of information is multi-faceted because of how far it stretches. Personal responsibility plays a role; the government has an act in this play; the private sector and many other areas are also complicit.

How we move along with the information posted from this story will be interesting as well. Because, maybe more than anything, this shows just how stark the consequences are for our society if we fail to properly educate our children.

The results may be death.

The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


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