Eric Hanushek, Jens Ruhose and Ludger Woessmann just published an amazing analysis of the economic benefits of increasing student performance to match regional, national, and international leaders.

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According to Hanusheck, Ruhose, and and Woessmann, raising academic achievement to the Minnesota level would produce 1.5 trillion in economic benefits over the next 80 years (the expected lifetime of a person born today).  Even improvement to regional leader Virginia could provide nearly $600 billion in economic gains over that period.

The authors conclude, “But even if states act individually, they can promote a better economic future for their residents through education reform. The gains projected here not only make the residents of each state better-off but also show how states’ fiscal problems can be tackled when knowledge capital increases.”