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TITLE: Forum on Education and the Economy: Welcome and Session I
EVENT DATE: 2008/06/27
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Education reform has been a policy focus in the United States since "A Nation at Risk" was released in 1983. Despite the best of intentions and large investments by both the public and private sectors, we are slipping in comparison to our industrialized peers, placing 25th out of 30 in math and 21st in science on the 2006 PISA test. Our nation's high schools continue to graduate only 70 percent of students on time, and only half of those who graduate are prepared for college and the workforce. Yet because policymakers, educators and American families don't typically connect these warning signs to an imminent crisis, there is little urgency for bold reforms. We want to steer the debate about education reform to emphasize the impact a mediocre education has on the nation's economy.
The Library of Congress hosted a national, non-partisan policy forum to discuss the connection between education and the economy. Economic, educational and political experts examined data tracking the U.S. performance internationally that measure the skills needed to succeed in a global economy. The discussants also explored the current and future economic implications to the United States. How can we persuade Americans that continued poor educational performance has real economic consequences for our nation?
Following a welcome and introduction by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and Tom Toch of Education Sector, panelists for session one compared evidence on the performance of educational systems internationally and domestically, and provided analysis of the implications of these data. They were Andreas Schleicher, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Gary Phillips, American Institutes of Research.
Funding for the forum was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.