In The Wall Street Journal (!) this week, was another editorial explaining why education is necessary to GDP growth.
“Education is the key to a healthy economy,” say George Schultz and Eric Hanushek. They show that societies with the highest test scores in math — notably Taiwan and Singapore — also have had the highest GDP growth rates. Well, surprise, surprise. Math is the common language of engineering and science. And engineering and science are what it takes to make the stuff of GDP growth. Little wonder, that the people who work the hardest at math are also those who make the most stuff.
The authors didn’t mention that when people from Taiwan and Singapore come to the US, they continue to work harder at math than native born Americans. Whatever the defects of the school system, it doesn’t keep them from getting advanced degrees in science and engineering and going on to earn a lot of money.
And they don’t mention that the US already spends much more per student on education than either one of them.
So, the reasonable question is not what’s wrong with US education…but what’s wrong with Americans.
Are they lazy? Or just stupid?
But instead of really analyzing why the US spends so much on education and gets, relatively, so little…
…or even wondering why anyone should give a damn…
…the authors call for “reforming” our K-12 system. What do they mean by that? How would it make anyone any better off? And if it were such a good idea, why haven’t people already “reformed” the schools?
The typical reader doesn’t think about it. He merely feels it is the right thing.
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