It’s back to school — and homework — now for all three members of our Mod Squad. Only appropriate, then, to assign homework for the parents.
I will be reading the New York Times “Room for Debate” series of essays on Education, titled: Do We Spend Too Much on Education?
In case you’ve not seen them, the “Room for Debate” discussions bring in outside contributors to discuss multiple sides of an issue on a wide variety of important topics.
See the current Room for Debate on Education here. It begins, for example, with an essay by Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, who has offered $100,000 each to 20 people under 20 years old, in order to spur them to quit college and create their own ventures.
There are nine essays in this Education series; here’s the intro:
Americans are spending more and more on education, but the resulting credentials — a high-school diploma and college degrees — seem to be losing value in the labor market.
Americans who go to college are triply hurt by this. First, as taxpayers: state and federal education budgets have ballooned since the 1950s. Second, as consumers: the average college student spends $17,000 a year on school, and those with loans graduate more than $23,000 in debt. And third, as a worker: in 1970, an applicant with a college degree was among an elite 11 percent, but now almost 3 in 10 adults have a degree.
Given that a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree and even graduate school are no longer a ticket to middle-class life, and all these years of education delay the start of a career, does our society devote too much time and money to education?
Sounds like just the sort of question parents of a HS senior should be asking. Let me know if you read these as well and, if so, what’s your take on the debate? Please comment below…
- Diploma or Dropout: The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma (mashable.com)
- Open Education: learning is at our fingertips (coopcatalyst.wordpress.com)
- Online Enterprises Gain Foothold as Path to a College Degree (nytimes.com)