School Reform Successes
By Arnold Kling
The Economist touts some.
four important themes emerge: decentralisation (handing power back to schools); a focus on underachieving pupils; a choice of different sorts of schools; and high standards for teachers.
Pointer from Tyler Cowen.
I am skeptical. I think that there is a tendency for positive results in educational interventions to disappear over time or with attempts at replication. I think we are less likely to see a revolution coming from pedagogy than from pharmacology. That is, without miracle drugs or genetic tinkering, I would be surprised to see the sorts of improvements in human ability that people keep hoping that education reform will accomplish.
Meanwhile, Reuven Brenner writes,
If someone is not thrilled about math and the sciences, but is excited to repair cars, and would like to open a garage, the government doesn’t offer him a $50,000 to $100,000 subsidy. Yet the bright kid gets just such subsidy – and more – when studying math, engineering, biology, or medicine. Guess what? Inequality will increase and the distribution of wealth becomes more skewed. Add to this the fact that lower skilled employees and even the mediocre ones face increasing amounts of competition from the rest of the world, and the much decried inequality becomes even more pronounced.