Education. Important, yes. Expensive, apparently so. But do important plus expensive equal success? Over at OpenMarket.org, Hans Bader says no:
America spends far more on education than countries like Germany, Japan, Australia, Ireland, and Italy, both as a percentage of its economy, and in absolute terms. Yet despite this lavish government support for education, college tuition in the U.S. is skyrocketing, reaching levels of $50,000 or more a year at some colleges, and colleges are effectively rewarded for increasing tuition by mushrooming federal financial-aid spending. Americans can’t read or do math as well as the Japanese, even though America spends way more (half again more) on education than Japan does, as a percentage of income, according to the CIA World Fact Book.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you can spend all you want on education. Double it. Triple it. Or cut it in half. And the kids who go home to crappy environments will still have a worse chance of getting a good education, and the kids who go home to good environments will still have a better chance.
Put the opportunity out there, and let the families do the rest. Families might not do “the rest,” and that’ll be a shame, but, well, there’s just no helping it. Unless we’re going to warehouse all the children in the same boarding-type schools, some of them will have good family lives, others won’t, and that’s the single biggest determinant of their future adult success…or failure. No matter how much we spend.
Cross-posted at The TrogloPundit.