The Purple Education Plan

Dear Fellow Economists and Other Concerned Citizens,

As you know, our education system is failing our children. Here is the system's report card.

We've fallen from first to eleventh place in the OECD in the fraction of children graduating high school.

Two of every seven American children fail to complete high school.

Three of every five American children either fail to attend or fail to complete college.

We rank 20th among industrialized nations based on high school completion and 16th based on college completion.

Our high schoolers rank 17th across all nations on the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) test.

The World Economic Forum ranks the United States 48th in quality of mathematics and science education.

Sixty-nine percent of our public school students in fifth through eighth grade are taught mathematics by a teacher without a degree or certificate in mathematics.

Ninety-three percent of our public school students in fifth through eighth grade are taught the physical sciences by a teacher without a degree or certificate in the physical sciences.

We rank 27th among developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering.

We graduate more visual and performing arts majors than engineers.

Fixing education isn't easy and there is no single formula for educational success. But our education policies, taken as a whole, aren't working. The Purple Education Plan reflects the views of some of our nation's top educators, education scholars, and education policymakers.

Please join me and other signatories in endorsing The Purple Education Plan, where "Purple" reflects the belief that both sides of the political aisle can agree to this plan to help our children.

Sincerely yours,

Laurence J. Kotlikoff
Professor of Economics, Boston University

P.S. Please also check out www.thepurpletaxplan.org, www.thepurplehealthplan.org, www.thepurplesocialsecurityplan.org, www.thepurplefinancialplan.org, www.thepurplegenerationalbalanceplan.org, www.thepurpleenergyplan.org, and www.thepurpleplans.org.