Acknowledging the Link between Education and the EconomyWith the rise of the economic crisis and growing public concern regarding the
Analyzing the Numbers
The New York Times teamed up with CBS in April of this year to poll the American people about what political issues they were most concerned about with the presidential election right around the corner. The results revealed that education was cited as the biggest problem facing the country, right behind the economy, health care, and the national debt. A poll in February of this year was consistent with these results--revealing that the public most wanted to hear presidential candidates address issues surrounding education, but still behind the three priority issues of the economy, health care, and the national deficit.
Although it's clear that the public highly values the importance of education, only 4 percent of respondents identified education as an issue of primary concern, while almost 50 percent named the economy as the single biggest problem in the country today. It's true that each of these issues plays a key role in the function of the country as a whole; however, perhaps more of an emphasis would be placed on education if it were widely understood how interrelated this issue is with the state of the economy.
Despite the minimal public focus on the importance of education, the growing emphasis on an online learning environment has made education more accessible for a larger portion of the population. As a result, a larger portion of the population can take advantage of higher education by earning a degree through Internet-based institutions.
Education as the Foundation of a Functional Economy
Education and the economy are often divided in politics as two distinct issues, when in reality the former often predicts the behavior of the latter. In fact, school choice advocate Michelle Rhee has explicitly pointed out how the two affect one another. In an article by Ginger Gibson of Politico, she emphasizes the relationship between the two by stating "I think [the candidates] need to really start to make the connection for the American public between what happens in the public education system and the long-term viability of this country."
George P. Schultz and Eric A. Hanushek of the Wall Street Journal seconded this notion in a recent article regarding the importance of education reform on both a K-12 and college level. The journalists argued "An improved education system would lead to a dramatically different future for the
Just how dramatic of an effect would educational improvements have on the
About the author: Matt Herndon lives in
Indianapolis with his wife and children. He
has completed his graduate work in Upper East Tennessee where he studied
communication and leadership development.