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The High Social Cost of Intervention Failure and Illiteracy

Whether we measure in high school dropout rates or the growing school-to-prison pipeline, it's clear that ineffective interventions hurt us all. Successful intervention programs reach beyond the classroom. Here's a startling reminder of what's at stake.
The lowest-achieving
25%
of students are
20X more likely
to be high school dropouts.
High school dropout rates impact our communities. Dropouts are more than 
2x 
as likely to end up unemployed —
 3x 
more likely to receive public assistance.
1 in 4
children in the U.S. grow up without learning to read
children in the U.S. grow up without learning to read.
1 in 4
children in the U.S. grow up without learning to read
The U.S is the only free-market nation
less educated
than the previous generation.

of juveniles who face trial are illiterate, tying illiteracy to crime.

of juveniles who face trial are illiterate, tying illiteracy to crime.

of juveniles
who face trial are illiterate, tying illiteracy to crime.
of juveniles
who face trial
are illiterate,
tying illiteracy
to crime.
2/3 of students who can't read by the end of Grade 4 wind up on welfare or part of the school-to-prison pipeline.
2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
School suspension and expulsion
the risk of entering the school-to-prison pipeline.
School suspension and expulsion
the risk of entering the school-to-prison pipeline.
Only 2% of students with no disciplinary violations became involved with the justice system.15% of students with 2-5 incidents enter the system, 46% with 11+ incidents.
Inequities in education
impose an economic hardship equal to a
permanent national recession.
The annual cost of inequitable education is 
$250 billion+
[Comprised of increased crime, compromised health, poor employment preperation, and lost taxes].
Students in the highest-poverty schools in the U.S.
are on a par with those in the
World's Lowest-Achieving Countries.
We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us.
- Ron Edmonds
Educator, Author, Researcher
don't read well enough to understand a newspaper story.
Illiteracy costs U.S. businesses and taxpayers an estimated
Illiteracy cost U.S. businesses and taxpayers an estimated
$20 billion annually.
$20 billion annually.
students drop out every school day.
Average annual public health costs:
$2,700
 high school dropout

$1,000
 high school graduate

$170
 college graduate
Annual Cost Per Individual
Public education
Incarceration
Over 
70%
 of inmates cannot read above a fourth grade level.
The U.S adult illiterate population increases by
A child with at least one illiterate parent is 

2x
 as likely to continue the cycle of illiteracy.
High School Dropouts
have a life expectancy 
9.2 years
 below graduates.
Students who can't read by Grade 4 are 

4x likelier
 to drop out.
Take the Intervention Checkup:
Self-Assessment
Get Started

The High Social Cost of Intervention Failure and Illiteracy

Whether we measure in high school dropout rates or the growing school-to-prison pipeline, it's clear that ineffective interventions hurt us all. Successful intervention programs reach beyond the classroom. Here's a startling reminder of what's at stake.
The lowest-achieving
25%
of students are
20X more likely
to be high school dropouts.
High school dropout rates impact our communities. Dropouts are more than 
2x 
as likely to end up unemployed —
 3x 
more likely to receive public assistance.
1 in 4
children in the U.S. grow up without learning to read
children in the U.S. grow up without learning to read
1 in 4
children in the U.S. grow up without learning to read.
The U.S is the only free-market nation
less educated
than the previous generation.

of juveniles who face trial are illiterate, tying illiteracy to crime.

of juveniles who face trial are illiterate, tying illiteracy to crime.

of juveniles
who face trial are illiterate, tying illiteracy to crime.
of juveniles
who face trial
are illiterate,
tying illiteracy
to crime.
2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
2/3 of students who can't read by the end of Grade 4 wind up on welfare or part of the school-to-prison pipeline.
School suspension and expulsion
the risk of entering the school-to-prison pipeline.
School suspension and expulsion
the risk of entering the school-to-prison pipeline.
Only 2% of students with no disciplinary violations became involved with the justice system. 15% of students with 2-5 incidents enter the system,  46% with 11+ incidents.
Inequities in education
impose an economic hardship equal to a
permanent national recession.
The annual cost of inequitable education is 
$250 billion+
[Comprised of increased crime, compromised health, poor employment preperation, and lost taxes].
Students in the highest-poverty schools in the U.S. are on a par with those in the
World's Lowest-Achieving Countries.
We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us.
- Ron Edmonds
Educator, Author, Researcher
We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us.
- Ron Edmonds
Educator, Author, Researcher
don't read well enough to understand a newspaper story.
Illiteracy costs U.S. businesses and taxpayers an estimated
$20 billion annually.
$20 billion annually.
students drop out every school day.
Average annual public health costs:
$2,700
 high school dropout

$1,000
 high school graduate

$170
 college graduate
Annual Cost Per Individual
Public education
Incarceration
Over 
70%
 of inmates cannot read above a fourth grade level.
The U.S adult illiterate population increases by
A child with at least one illiterate parent is 
2x
 as likely to continue the cycle of illiteracy.
High School Dropouts
have a life expectancy 
9.2 years
 below graduates.
Students who can't read by Grade 4 are 
4x likelier
 to drop out.
Take the Intervention Checkup:
Self-Assessment
Get Started
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