As a center-right think tank president, there are certain things I’m supposed to adore. Among them: donations from billionaires (yes), smoking a pipe (no), and turning prescriptive federal programs into block grants (hell yes!).
With state legislative sessions in full swing across the country, the Hoover Education Success Initiative (HESI), a newly formed research program at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, has released “The Diploma Dilemma”—a policy brief that details how high school graduation rates continue to rise even as overall academic and career skill attainment remain flat.
States and localities cannot avoid dealing with issues of teacher compensation. Not only is it the largest budget item for many local governments, but also it is the place of largest leverage for improving the quality of schools.
It’s long been understood that, on average, there’s a strong relationship between a child’s socioeconomic status and his or her academic outcomes. It’s also the case that when poor families become less poor—either because of more “market income” or due to social programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit—their children tend to do better in school.