The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 26, 2012

Our View: Education and the economy

The Joplin Globe

— In the final presidential debate, both candidates agreed that public education in America needs fixing and both agreed that would improve the American economy.

Yes, of course improving our public education systems is vital to affecting American domestic and foreign success in the future. But it will take a very long time for such effects to be seen and measured in America today.

Imagine if in four years every graduating senior from Joplin High School met every conceivable standard in terms of level of knowledge and citizenship, how to act in a modern society. Assume there were no dropouts and everyone in this year’s freshman class graduated with honors.

How long do you think it would take for that achievement to translate into a significant effect on American economic growth? Certainly not overnight.

That does not mean we should ignore improvements in our public education systems. But to think those improvements are a political solution in the short term for our economic lethargy is political spin.

Here at home, a significant effort is being made by Joplin School District administrators and the Board of Education to bring about long-term remedies to improve the standards achieved by all students.

That is how long-term improvements will be achieved.

It has little to do with who becomes our next president.