This is what is wrong with the US economy (not to mention US society).
"A significant portion of the convergence reported in the official statistics is due to black males obtaining GED credentials in prison."We simply aren't graduating enough high school students. Heck, we're not graduating enough college students. Hey, we're not graduating enough math and science majors. Wait, we're not graduating enough Masters students.
Get the picture? We are so far behind everybody that we cannot even hope to compete with our fellow neighbors for at least 20 years. Our current crop of high school graduates haven't the numbers or the time to develop into top-notch business, science, and math leaders. It's not their fault.
It's ours. We have our priorities upside down and sideways. We'd rather buy a McMansion than fund a college education. We'd rather raise our kids with the hope that, one day, some day, they'll develop into Tiger Woods (who did graduate high school and go to Stanford, though I think he might not have graduated), when they have a 100x or 1000x better chance of learning a useful trade.
We'd rather live in a gated community and buy our kids video games than buy them books and encourage them to read.
We pay high school teachers $22-45k to start. Why do you think our quality of teachers is so poor, not to mention the quantity? We should pay them comparably to entry-level engineering professionals. (I know, where would we get the money? Oh, I don't know: Iraq?)
"No Child Left Behind" is a misnomer. More kids are encouraged to drop out so that schools can raise their scores so they don't lose financial assistance from the federal government. Talk about a backwards incentive!
Enough of my ranting. What do you think?
Greg Mankiw's Blog: Some Disturbing Facts