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Posted by: Doug Henwood | May 12, 2011

Education: how the U.S. stacks up

I’ve just posted the latest in a series of pieces on education that I’ve been doing for LBO. This one is a review of how the U.S. stacks up internationally on spending, enrollment, attainment: “In and out of school.”

Capsule summary: we spend lots of money, but enrollment and attainment numbers are mediocre. It’s kind of like our health care system. We pay our teachers badly, don’t reward experience, and prefer spending money on things rather than people.

Earlier education pieces: “Charter to nowhere” and “Beastly numbers ”(how poverty explains test scores).

Reminder: this stuff doesn’t grow on trees, so if you like it and don’t yet subscribe, please do: LBO subscription info.

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Responses

  1. Those ‘things’ tend to benefit locally powerful businessmen, for instance grandiose high school football stadiums (here in Texas) make contractors and real estate developers happy.

  2. I’m sure you’ve seen this already, but just in case you haven’t:

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n10/howard-hotson/dont-look-to-the-ivy-league

  3. There’s a piece in the new London Review of Books on universities. While its focused on the vandalism of the current administration, it does make some nice points about the US system which fit quite well into your series. Among them:
    1) The US system is extremely expensive, but outside a small elite, fairly mediocre.
    2) The market system means that fees have gone towards luxuries for students to entice them to enroll, rather than education.

    Not entirely sure his facts are entirely straight, but its a nice polemic regardless.


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