Thursday, December 09, 2010

AP-Stanford Poll: Americans Recognize Link between Economy and Education System

The Associated Press reported today on an AP-Stanford University poll surveying the views Americans hold on several aspects of higher education. Its findings have been covered from multiple perspectives, with the AP running headlines like "Poll: education backed, but not taxes."

Here are two important results from the poll that didn't make as many (if any) headlines:
  • 88 percent of respondents said that the quality of a country's education system has a large or very large impact on its economy
  • 79 percent of respondents said that if all Americans graduated from a two or four-year college it would help the economy a lot or a little

I agree with both statements (in fact I wonder about the 21 percent of folks who don't think that having a 100 percent college graduation rate would help the economy). I would take it one step further: for the underrepresented minority groups that constitute a growing portion of the American public, if they are able to graudate at a higher rate and access a quality education, this will be good for those communities in particular and the economy as a whole.

And of course this ties back to Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. They will be better able to access a quality education and graduate when they have access to the scholarships, fellowships, and academic programs for underrepresented minorities which don't currently recognize that they're underrepresented.

Here's the poll in full: LINK


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