What would you do with 3 billion dollars?
Would you buy a house, a boat, or a plane? Would you send your parents on vacation? Would you build something? Donate plenty? Give regularly? Would you try to change the world, or, at the very least, make someone’s world better?
What would you do if you had 3 billion dollars?
Evidently, if you are a blue-chip business, you would spend all 3 billion teaching employees remedial writing skills. At least that is what Kaleigh Moore reports in the March 2016 edition of Inc Magazine.
In an article entitled, “Study: Poor Writing Skills are Costing Business Billons,” author Moore writes, “A study from CollegeBoard, a panel established by the National Commission on Writing, indicates that blue-chip businesses are spending as much as $3.1 billion dollars on remedial writing training annually.”
This is not because of a lack of education. She continues, “A report from the Partnership for 21st-Century Skills noted that 26.2 percent of college students had deficient writing skills.” One employer added that more than one-fourth of college graduates lacked not just writing skills, but communication skills across the board.
After 17 years of formal training, as many as one-fourth of college graduates lack the basic writing skills to function in the workplace. As a result, businesses are spending an annual average of 3 billion dollars to compensate for the deficiency.
Think of the implications. That’s 3 billion dollars not being invested in new research. That’s 3 billion dollars not used to create new jobs. That is 3 billion dollars not going to improved employee benefits.
Instead, it’s 3 billion dollars to play catch up, by giving employees something they lacked, which they should have gained through almost two decades of education.
Oftentimes in education, we spend a tremendous amount of energy trying to find a new way to recreate the wheel. And what we end up with is neither new nor a wheel. Perhaps instead of finding new ways to do basic math, we should just master math. Maybe instead spending untold amounts of money for special programs, we should give teachers the freedom to teach, to teach with excellence the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
And maybe we should do it soon, for there are a lot of good things that can be done with 3 billion dollars.