The rapid growth of China, India, Brazil and other emerging powers has dramatically altered the complexion of the global economy in recent years. At the same time, rising deficits, high trade imbalances, a declining dollar, and a lingering economic downturn have placed America's position within the global economy in peril-and have policymakers deliberating over the keys to America's economic future.
One area often cited as critical to the nation's future economic strength is higher education, particularly that America must dramatically increase the number of college-educated citizens to remain a leading economic power.
George Leef is Director of Research at the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in Raleigh, NC. He was previously on the faculty of Northwood University and a policy adviser in the Michigan Senate. Since 1996, he has served as book review editor of the Foundation for Economic Education's magazine, The Freeman.
Leef is the author of Free Choice for Workers: A History of the Right to Work Movement, and editor of Educating Teachers: The Best Minds Speak Out.
Michael Lomax is the President and CEO of the United Negro College Fund-the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization.
Immediately before joining UNCF, he served seven years as President of Dillard University in New Orleans. He taught literature at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges and the University of Georgia. He served as the first head of the Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs and was elected to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, serving as its first African-American chair.
Paul Solman has been a business, economics and occasional art correspondent for PBS NewsHour since 1985. He answers viewer questions on The Business Desk. He is also the presenter for and author of "Discovering Economics with Paul Solman," a series of videos distributed by McGraw-Hill.
Solman is part of a national consortium to teach "Financial Literacy" to Americans at every educational level. His work has won various awards, including several Emmys, two Peabodys, and a Loeb award.
Margaret Spellings, U.S. Secretary of Education from 2005 to 2009, is the President and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company and a leading national expert in public policy. Spellings also serves as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Executive Vice President of the National Chamber Foundation, and Senior Advisor to the Boston Consulting Group.
Her prior positions include White House Domestic Policy Advisor (2001-05) and Senior Advisor to Governor George W. Bush (1995-2000).
Richard Vedder is the Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity--an independent higher education think tank in Washington, DC. He is also Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ohio University and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Vedder served on the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education and has authored eight books, including Going Broke By Degree: Why College Costs Too Much. Vedder's upcoming book is tentatively titled Universities and Human Welfare.
George Leef, Director of Research at the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, deconstructs several common arguments that propose the need for increasing the number of college graduates in the U.S.
Leef argues that the number of people with college degrees currently outweighs the number of jobs that require them, and suggests that graduating more people will only lead to "credential inflation."
A panel of experts discusses grade inflation and other perceived problems with America's education system. Michael Lomax, President and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, argues for regulating accreditation more tightly, while former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings cautions that universities have adopted a "send us the money and leave us alone approach."
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. They also include teacher-training schools, community colleges, and institutes of technology. At the end of a prescribed course of study, a degree, diploma, or certificate is awarded. See alsocontinuing education.
I have a big problem the way we feed out babies from floride in the water, Garbage food that starts with baby formulae by the time the child is 6 years old the cookies candies coke macdonalds burger king etc ketchup mayonaise all this is acid hot dogs hambergers all is acid garbage NO BRAIN FOOD so if you start with harmful garbage what do you expect, high drop out rate in high school kids don´t finish what they started less home education,meat-hamberger-garbage in school lunch, no attention span grew up with TV AND REMOTE CONTROL crap MTV, cartoons other virtual reality, yopu fill these kids with garbage expect school send millions of jobs over sea and then YOU WANT THEM TO FIND A JOB OR GO IN DEBT BY COLLEDGE, So thankyou but the above conversations are useless its like health profits before people, as the Buddha said in the search of weralth we destroy our health and the mind og f the children and our future goes down the toilet, get the message!Now why complain the dumbing down of America is a purposeful plan the dumber and sicker you are the more money others make when 1% owns more than 90% that is communism ,America´s education is becoming less education more training more slavery, they getting to implement the COMMUNIST CHINESE SYSTEM COMMUNISM, thanks ForaTV. EAT RIGHT SLEEP RIGHT THINK RIGHT NONE OF THESE ARE HAPPENING EDUCATION IS A LIFESTLYE NOT MOMENTARY MOMENTS:
This is off my blog. Forgive me if it's a bit "spammy", but it's completely relevant and gets to the guts of it, I feel.
Take the scenario of the retail industry demanding that all new retail staff obtain a degree in 'retail and sales' before they can enter the industry and work. What would happen?
Retail would immediately become less popular as an occupation. And this, in turn, would quickly lead to an under-supply of retail workers as people exiting the industry are not replaced. However this under-supply, in time, would naturally lead to a wage-increase for retail workers.
Eventually the wage-inflation will become large enough so that getting a 'retail and sales' degree becomes professionally feasible -- because retail has then become a "high-paying/high-skilled" job.
In turn, the government may assume that retailers are now highly productive because their work is now high-paying. In turn, they may add fuel to the fire by encouraging and subsidising people to get their 'retail and sales' degree.
The final result of this 'economic correction' -as induced by the higher academic prerequisite- would be a smaller and more costly (for the consumer) retail industry, and also higher taxes to support more tertiary education and to compensate the lost taxes from students not earning while learning.
The scenario I have described is of course nuts. But that is how the game can work, and that is why I believe it is critical for governments to study the real prerequisites of given jobs. That is, they must differentiate between cultural and genuine educational necessities, and in turn only provide subsidies for where special tertiary training is truly required. [And the possibility of tertiary-training should also have to compete with the possibility of on-the-job learning i.e. just because an individual needs to learn something, that does not necessarily mean that they should to do so at a school. Learning does not need to be specifically formalised; in fact the vast majority of human learning isn't.]
Tertiary education can become--and I believe largely has become--its own justification. If I am right then this situation needs to be recognised and reversed.
It's important to note that it's very easy for employers to demand ever higher qualifications, considering that they do not usually pay for them personally. In fact it may even be rational for them to do so if they have an over-supply of job-applicants i.e. they don't really have anything to lose. There is also the fact that formal qualifications for staff can have significant marketing value for an employer i.e. though an employer may know that a given qualification isn't really worth much (in terms of real productive value), his clientel may not. And finally, once an irrational prerequisite becomes well-established, an employer may continue to demand excessive prerequisites simply because they themselves had to obtain them - very few people want to believe that their degree, for example, isn't really worth all that much in practice, even if it isn't i.e. there must be an emotional factor here, and emotional bias always leads to at least some degree of rationalisation. (I myself have been surprised at the exotic new labels for mental skills that use to come under the title 'commonsense'!). No doubt a fear of change will play a part as well i.e. people with a given required qualification would have been tested, whereas people without the required qualification may have not.
Of course tertiary education demand can also be aggravated but the education industry itself, which is naturally concerned with maximising demand for its sevices. And demand must also be exaggerated by parents and their children, due to their desire to win advanced qualifications for social-status reasons. (and no doubt the latter is where a great deal of political pressure lies to keep tertiary education heavily subsidised).
My point in making the last two paragraphs is to show that there are very real pressures, as I believe, to provoke employers to demand excessive prequisites for their staff (and get away with it).
Another point to mention is that the effect I have described, if real, can make a mockery of the idea that the government should invest in tertiary education to create some kind of social equality. Potentially at least, it can do the very opposite by artificially fueling income disparaties. Giving people equal opportunity to climb ladders is all very well, but that certainly shouldn't justify creating (or exaggerating) ladders that would not otherwise exist.
It is understood that government subsidies create at least some degree of economic-distortion. In the case of tertiary education, I believe the distortion has become chronic and is getting worse still.
For sure there is a need for some tertiary training, but nothing like the scale that we have today. A modern high tech economy is, in terms of staffing, still overwhelmingly low-tech. The relatively tiny demand for advanced computer-programmers, engineers, theoretical-economists, medical-doctors etc. does not justify sending huge numbers of people off to university and the like, when the economy is and forseably always will be mostly made up of salesman, managers, trades-people, labourers and cooks etc. Maybe 5% of us should attend tertiary education for scientifically-orientated professions? The rest of us can and should learn what we need to learn on the job.
It was once believed that the purpose of education was to learn to think critically by studying "the greatest thoughts" ever thought, to read "the greatest works" ever written, be exposed to the "greatest art" ever created, purely for its own sake. The shift to a utilitarian process designed to simply prepare a person for the work force has its origins in many of the collectivist movements and planned societies, who reduced life to a series of mathematical, deliberate equations, which, if followed and lead by the intelligentsia, will lead to social harmony.
It is encouraging to see the good old classical liberal arts college making a comeback. Even some top universities have begun to answer the charges of grade inflation and anti-intellectualism that has become rampant on their campuses by creating more rigorous, classics based curricula. I still believe a person can educate himself by reading and thinking deeply about the "great books," and the "great ideas" that have timeliess truth.
Oh, boy, do I hear you on that!!!
This talk sickened me a little bit. Especially when I kept hearing the word "consumer" bandied about over and over. So, college has become an assembly line to churn out people for our consumerist society?
And, from one particular argument in this video, there should be more Associate Degree graduates, because that is what will fit the job market. While I definitely understand people not wanting to go into debt for their education (and this subject also inflames me-going into debt just to be educated) or invest too much time into an education they might not be able to use in the current market-why does the amount of schooling you get have to ONLY count for the job market?
When as a society are we going to start thinking being educated (about ANYTHING-not just about what makes money) is actually something that is good and to strive for? Perhaps that is our real downfall in America? If it does'nt make money or drive the economy...it's not worth learning about...
With an educational model like this in the US, forget Classical Greece, it's "Idiocracy" all the way.
This debate operates on the faulty assumption that people go to college just to be marketable. Is there no longer a benefit for learning to think, read, be informed? For people to be shaped culturally? For particular techniques in each profession to be continued on as a craft? We operate in the insta-edu-gratification universe with the stuff by these people in their debate.
This especially degrades when they talk about grades translating into excellence. How many times has someone taken a class that they didn't do well in, and then go on to get an A in something else? That's the problem with using GPA as a way of defining people in college. Unless you have all the time in the world to attend-not having to work-straight a's are impossible-especially if you're doing 12 credits a semester. Getting a b in something-is not failure-these people are so clueless!
The grade system in antiquated as does not reflect how people really learn certain skillsets, perhaps if you can pass a test at the end of college, you should get your degree. There are a lot of problems with teachers requiring different assignments that students don't have experience with, and therefore don't get as high a grade. Most teachers don't explain in detail what they want. You end having to guess as it, go trial and error, when it is the teacher who is not communicating well enough what they expect. And no it's not all the same, being able to write a basic 5 paragraph essay, will not mean that you do well on any paper. If the teacher doesn't like your point of view you get pinged for that. It's such a mess full of bias. I speak as a liberal arts student. Math and Science are of course very different disciplines.
This is just so shortsighted a way at looking at things. I mean did someone in 1950 have to be aware of as much as what's going on in 2010? Come on, it's not even a fair question. College degree does not translate to insta mega success but it's a start. And that's all we can provide for students. Colleges should be expansive and not exclusive, and yet many highschool students come into college without basic skills. Perhaps there ought to be a new exam between K12 and college that really tests how students think, and not just what they 'know'. Like an evaluative test, not a points driven test. That way they can truly tell if someone is ready for college. It's a mindset difference. Most college profs laugh at what 'facts' entering freshman declare to be true. If you can assign a personality based continuum for college entrance you will have a better idea of how well that student will do.
I made no "homophobic" slur. College course catalogs and course descriptions name the field "queer" studies. I actually never use that word in my daily discussion and find it an odd one, but those in the field use it.
Also, your understanding of history is somewhat incomplete. Almost every indicator of the health of Black citizens - education, income, intact families, college degrees - were on the rise, due to the talent and individual abilities of black citizens, despite the aweful discrimination they faced, BEFORE the "Civil Rights Movement" began. They have moved in the opposite direction since the paternalistic white liberals, well meaning black citizens and those evil persons who saw the "Civil Rights Movement" as an opportunity to gain notariety and wealth from the government coffers. Reforms designed to raise the poorest minorities have never benefitted those at the bottom. The "Civil Rights Movement's" idea of attaining equality is when a black, millionaire construction firm owner gets favoritism in government contracts. It has been a perverse failure, as a once proud, independent group of people has been debased and used as props and mascots by the "Civil Rights Movement."
Your assertion that the SAT and other tests are not indicators of college success do not predict college success is simply an opinion. A huge majority of minorities granted entrance into a competitive school fail promptly and end up leaving college completely. I don't care how "innovative" a person is, when they sit down in the lecture hall at Stanford to take physics or chemistry or have to write a large paper with footnotes and research, they will fail if they do not have excellent study habits and the requisite education to complete these courses. As it stands now, many universities have had to lower their admission standards or add remedial courses, thus increasing costs and dumbing down the campus. The non academic fields you claim make you more intelligent, well I stand by my claim that they do not make you more intelligent at all. They are ideological seminars masquerading as academic areas of inquiry. You would be far more intelligent after taking courses in the classics - Latin, Greek, Ethics - and the hard sciences.
The "old reliable" ad hominem that you threw in calling me a racist or "homophobic," is the sign of a shallow thinker. You seem like a nice person with good intentions, but you know nothing about me. I am married to a racial minority woman and my children are visibly of mixed race. Our society is not intelligent and is diverse in spite of the levelling impulses of the left to make us all the same. Just because a calendar has rolled to a "new century" does not change anything. We have always lived in a diverse society. I do not have to treat any person differently than I treat every person. The Golden Rule is in force for all of my interpersonal actions. I believe you and I have different ideas of what constitutes "diversity." I saw in my children's college searches how all universities go on and on about promoting "diversity" and nurturing and promoting understanding. I still can't figure out what they mean. If this "diversity" (whatever they mean by this, they never say) is so essential to getting educated, how do Universities in India or Japan or Korea educate their children so much better than we do as a racially, religiously diverse society? The campuses in almost every other country are homogeneous racially, relative to ours, yet the Asian schools and the Indian schools beat us in almost every objective field of study. IIT, the most rigorous, most challenging, most difficult to get into technological university in the world has an almost 100% Indian student body, mostly male. It is a pure meritocrisy. Many silicon valley entrepreneurs came from this school in one of the poorest countries in the world. The United States' tech industry would not exist without these people. I think that perhaps their focus on education rather than the shallow, preoccupation with making students feel "confortable" and engineering "diversity" and the politicization of our campuses may have something to do with their superiority.
Also, please define "homophobic" to me. Using etymological logic, this translates roughly to "fear of sameness," or "fear of man." The coining of this phrase alone is a sign of the intellectual bankruptcy of the pot stirring "diversity" crowd. I fear no human being. I judge others by their behavior. No financial status, no race, no sexual orientation, no national origin is deserving of respect or appreciation beyond basic human courtesy that all should be afforded. A person's behavior leads me to respect them or appreciate them, not some shallow label or the color of their skin.
The Civil Rights Movement, which allowed me to have great opportunities to choose a good school and to receive a quality education, addressed the issues of minorities being prevented from access to the education and opportunities given to white students. "Separate but Equal" was a theory. There was separate, but certainly not equal. Minorities were prevented in many ways from the tools and opportunities, plus discriminated and even intimidated from going to a college that was predominately white. Yes, we have and had HBCU's, but when he/she tried for a predominately white school....well, there were problems, and in many situations severe problems due to racism. The lack of opportunities and tools that the educational system had for minorities resulted in many not being as prepared as white students to take the tests and get into many of the colleges. HBCU's brought in, nurtured, and prepared minority students for a society that would judge them based on their race.....but, that was no excuse for minorities to not have been given the proper tools and educational access as whites.
There were a few blacks who made it into predominately white schools prior the Civil Rights Movement, and those students often faced serious discrimination and intimidation from others. You stating that college education is impartial is fine...except that is flawed because of our system that had a history of preventing minorities from getting the tools necessary to achieve the college degree more fairly. As far as placement tests, that is only one part of getting into a good school. Tests predict little about how well you will do, contrary to popular belief. Taking the SAT test does not judge how you do on a daily basis..and it does not judge a person's genius in areas that may not be part of the test, but could be well cultivated in a university setting. So, the overall person has to be looked at. There are plenty of people who made well on an SAT, but are not innovative..then you have some who did not do all well on the SAT, but these same people are geniuses in business, innovation, the arts...you name it.
Last, having African American Studies, Women's Studies, and other degrees that concentrate on groups historically discriminated against actually helps us to become more intelligent and live well in a diverse society. You have an issue with that, or you would not have made some of your comments, which includes a homophobic slur. In this new century, you must be able to live in a world with people unlike you and have a mind to know how to relate and treat them.
Michael your comment really has undertones of racist, sexist, and homophobic beliefs. This is disturbing and has no place in an intelligent and diverse society that is in a new century.
When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, college was an option for kids but not everyone either desired or planned to go. Trade schools were very popular as well. The military was respected and those who entered were respected. The "civil rights" movement began complaining about pre- employment screening from or pre-employment exams or aptitutde tests, stating they were "racially biased," or discriminatory. A college diploma became one of the few measures of achievement that most people would accept as impartial, so almost every career field began requiring them. This has resulted in the devolution of the college campus into a non-academic, dumbed down place. Non academic degrees and departments were funded due to intimidation and demands from "civil rights" organizations. As a result, we have degrees in "women's studies," "ethnic studies," "queer studies," "peace studies" and other non academic, purely ideological/political fields. How a degree in "ethnic studies" qualifies anyone for a job other than working on a democrat politician's campaign is beyond me. The "Schools of Education," the intellectual slums of most college campuses, filled up with the students with the lowest SAT scores.
In my opinion, education in order to become a deep thinking, inquisitive citizen, prepared to perpetuate Western traditions and civilization has disappeared. My Father and Mother were proponents of education for its own sake - it made one a better citizen and leads to a more fulfilling, meaningful life. A utilitarian focus on education intended to prepare a person for a job has been a failure. We have ended up with an uneducated population, unprepared for work or the reponsibilities of a citizen in a free society. How many college graduates aspire to work on a factory floor, making toys or shoes or auto parts? Do any parents say, "God, I hope my child follows in my footsteps making Fords?" Do our young people want to make Fords? Kids are told college will lead to wealth, so kids come out of school expecting far more in pay and lifestyle that they are worth based on their living experience and work experience, but are not educated. They come out expecting to have the lifestyle they grew up in, ignorant of the fact that it took their parents 20 years or more to achieve that lifestyle.
College is over rated if it is used soleley as a means to a materialistic or economic end.
Originally Posted by Mr.Wolf
isn't alot of Americas current financial crisis more to do with the fact that it moved from being a nation that produces, to a nation that consumes?
On a more personal ranty note. I'm sick of how the word "fair" is used. I'm tired of hearing people say "it isn't fair.". You're wrong. It is fair. A lion does not give some of it's gazelle to a weaker lion. Competition is fair. If you don't agree, or think it's a good thing, maybe go talk to Darwin.
Well, first off, we are *humans*, not lions, and that analogy is just silly.
Second: "Fair" doesn't exist - success is just as much a product of luck as it is a product of skill, or some other intrinsic quality that provides the individual with a "competitive advantage" (an advantage that they were able to derive due in no small part to luck - where they were born, to which parents, in what kind of environment, etc).
So, I think we should leave this "strong lion/weak lion" crap where it belongs -> in sub-saharan Africa.