The Economic Impact of Underachievement

According to a new report from McKinsey & Company, underachieving schools have had more than just a social impact on the U.S.—they’ve had an economic impact as well. “The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools” says that while the causes of the gap may not be well known, the consequences of it have not been fully understood, either.

The report identifies four education gaps: between the U.S. and other nations, between black and Latino students and white students, between students of different income levels, and between students of different systems and/or religions. As a result of these gaps, the report says, valuable human potential is wasted, creating the economic equivalent of a “permanent national recession” even larger than the current one. On the individual level, these gaps can lead to lower earnings, poor health, and higher incarceration rates.

To download the full report, visit McKinsey & Company.