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Economists estimate that teachers save their communities more than a quarter of a million dollars each time their efforts keep one student from dropping out. In cases where staying in school protects a child from the risk of drug abuse or criminal behavior, the “monetary value of saving a high-risk youth” skyrockets to estimates that range from $1.7 million to $2.3 million.

Good teachers: they’re worth millions.

COHEN, M.A. (1998). The monetary value of saving a high risk youth. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 14, 5–33.

Steve VanderStaay is Professor of English and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Western Washington University. An educational scholar, he has published research on effective teachers, high-achieving students of color, research methods, and the shaping influence of literacy and schooling upon public health and crime prevention. VanderStaay taught high school in urban, rural and bilingual settings before earning his Ph. D.

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  1. September 28, 2012

    If only State and Federal Legislators, in charge of funding school systems and paying teachers, could see it the same way Prof. Vanderstaay articulates it. Thanks for the affirmation!

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