Statistics still show that our economy has not full rebounded from the Great Recession. Our century-old output per capita has slowed to 1.3% from 2% in the last twenty-five years to just 0.7% today. High school graduates who do not go on to college can never expect wages that will allow for significant real estate/auto purchases, which help drive the economy. While 80% of high school graduates went on to college in 1970, this statistic dropped to 74% in 2000. The US is 16th in the world in college completion, after once being ranked first. State and financing for higher education dropped by 28% between 2008-2012. Total student debt now exceed $1 trillion.
Employers need skilled worked for high tech, computer, engineering, and other increasingly sophisticated positions which should be driving our economy even more than they do. Students graduating from high school with poor math skills and no real second language are poorly positioned for serious further training. Parents play a huge role here when they allow for t.v. instead of reading and over-emphasize extracurriculars at the expense of focus on homework and encouragement of extra challenge.