Investments in education yield large returns to both society and the individual. Furthermore, expanding access to high-quality education directly addresses one of the major causes of increased inequality: technological changes that increasingly reward skilled workers.
The paper presents evidence suggesting that America's educational system is neither in crisis nor reaching its full potential. To better secure the benefits of a strong education system, the paper outlines an evidence-based strategy that calls for new investments in some areas (such as early education) and structural reforms in others (such as the teacher tenure system). A recently proposed early education program for disadvantaged children and a proposal to dramatically simplify the federal student financial aid system are discussed in detail.