Two education links

1. Education Is the Key to a Healthy Economy

2. Creating Innovators: Why America’s Education System Is Obsolete

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8 thoughts on “Two education links

  1. The key to a healthy economy lies only indirectly in our educational system. The real key lies in our political institutions – the rules that we agree to live by in our society. When government functions to enforce contracts and to protect people and their property, both from internal and foreign threats, citizens are encouraged to maximize their productivity knowing that they are secure in the fruits of their labors. In such an environment, people will seek out and develop optimal educational systems because it is in their own self interest.

    In a predatory society, where some people (using the government as a tool) take from those who produce wealth in order to line their own pockets, people either lose their incentive to produce maximally or devote some of their resources to protect their wealth, resources that would have otherwise been put to better use.

    A society with a bunch of highly trained/educated citizens sounds great – in theory. But in order for our economy to prosper, these “smart” people also need an incentive to work to their fullest potential. In other words, we need people who are both WILLING and ABLE. A great educational system may make them able, but only great political institutions will make them willing. Furthermore, with the proper political institutions, their willingness will give them an incentive to make themselves and their children more able. The converse (with regards to better educational systems) is not true. In addition, without the incentives provided by the aforementioned political institutions, students (or potential students) have fewer incentives to learn and to maximize their educational experience – we can lead the horse to water, but (without the proper incentive) we can’t make it drink.

    The other problem with the argument about educational reform is the direction it should take or, more precisely, who should direct it. Clearly, the federal government has done a terrible job. Also clear is the fact that throwing more dollars at the problem will not solve it. Reform needs to be in the form of LESS, rather than more, meddling by the federal government. A return to a government that ensures property rights and enforces contracts and encourages productivity rather than one that encourages predation coupled with local community control of schools will allow and encourage local communities to develop educational systems that maximize the productive abilities of their members. Simply coming up with the next federally mandated “reform” with a politically catchy name will just be another waste of money, both in terms of the tax dollars which are seen and the unseen loss in the potential productivity of those being “educated”.

    • I agree Mike. I think the correlation in the first link is not necessarily causation. Rather, it’s a post hoc fallacy.

      The second link seems to indirectly counter the first one. I thought they made some excellent observations, but I don’t like the implied innovation program prescription. Though, I wouldn’t be too upset if more high school graduates mastered critical thinking skills.

  2. Here’s just one example of how the tail wags the dog in our public schools. http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/shepard-smith/index.html?intcmp=features#/v/1632579416001/teacher-forces-students-to-wear-dog-collar-as-punishment
    The politically correct class misses the big point that THE KIDS THAT WERE PUNISHED WERE MISBEHAVING AND KNEW THAT THEY WERE BREAKING THE RULES! So, the school administrators step in and punish the teacher for punishing the students. Heaven forbid that little Johnny’s self-esteem is harmed – that will have to wait until he’s out in the real world and his boss cans him because he goofed around in class and didn’t get an education.

    • Funny. It sounds like the parents need to wear the cone of shame too. The parents should have laughed at their kids and told them to follow the teacher’s rules. Instead, they complain to the milquetoast administrators, who of course, fear the cost of litigation. Instead of telling the parents they are welcome to go find another school if they don’t like it. I always say that problems can be traced back to problems with feedback. This is a major one in public education.

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