Investing in Education
1) "The cost of educational egalitarianism is
doubtless high and may be difficult to justify
in terms of economic efficiency
and short-term productivity.
Some students can achieve a given level of education far more easily and
therefore at far less cost, than others.
Yet there is a danger in a democratic society in leaving some children out sync
with its institutions.
Such neglect contributes to exaggerated income concentration,
conceivably be far more costly to the sustaining of capitalism and globalization
in the long run.
The value judgments involved in making such choices reach beyond the imperatives
of the marketplace."
"Much of our skill shortage can be resolved
with education reform. But that will take years." From
The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World
by Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of The Federal Reserve
published in 2007 by Penguin Group, pages 406 and 407 respectively
2) "Can we get to a higher sustained rate of economic growth,
and a material improvement in national living standards,
merely by pumping up the resources we devote to education?
That question turns on whether there is a shortage of skilled labor in the
a shortage not being met by our colleges and universities.
Despite all the ruminations about 'skills bias' in the patterns of
there is no such shortage.
To the contrary, our economy is full of highly technical and skilled people.
It remains short of jobs for those people, as every college councilor and
coordinator of a training program knows." From
Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay
James K. Gallbraith,
professor at the
Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas
publish in 2000 by University of Chicago Press,
3) "Education is a very lumpy investment where often there is little or no payoff from having a
little bit more."
..."There are big returns to the first years of education (the education where
one gains literacy) and
big payoffs to the last years of education (a college or graduate
degree where one distinguishes oneself from the pack) but
only small payoffs to those years
of education that move the individual from
somewhat below average to somewhat above
The Future of Capitalism: How Today's Economic Forces Shape Tomorrow's World
by Lester C. Thurow,
former Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management
and published in 1996 by William
Morrow and Company, Inc.
4) "When asked to make economic comments as if he were looking back on 1996 from 2096,
economist Paul Krugman said the following on what he called "The devaluation of higher
Or consider the panic over "downsizing" that gripped America in 1996.
economists quickly pointed out, the rate at which Americans were losing jobs in the nineties
was not especially high by historical standards. Why, then, did downsizing suddenly become
Because for the first time white-collar, college-educated workers were being fired in
even while skilled machinists and other blue-collar workers were in high
This should of been a clear signal that the days of the ever-rising wage premium
people with higher education were over,
but somehow nobody noticed." From
The Accidental Theorist and Other Dispatches from the Dismal Science
Krugman, professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton
and published in 1998 by W.W. Norton & Company,
5) "Delivering literacy--even on the high
level appropriate to a knowledge society--
will be an easier task than giving
students the capacity and the knowledge to keep on learning, and the desire to do
"All it requires is to make learners achieve.
All it requires is to focus on the strengths and talents of learners so that
they excel in whatever it is they do well."
" But schools do not do it. They focus instead on a learner's
The New Realities
Peter F. Drucker, pages 236 and 237 of
Clark Professor of Social Science at Claremont Graduate School, California and
considered by some
“the founding father of the science of management (LA Times)” published
"HALF OF THE CHILDREN ARE BELOW AVERAGE
TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO COLLEGE
AMERICA'S FUTURE DEPENDS ON HOW WE EDUCATE THE ACADEMICALLY GIFTED
Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality
Charles Murray, 2008,
W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise
Instituted AND author of The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in America.
Editors Note: Years ago, when I read Charles
Murray's earlier book
Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life,
I stopped reading when I discovered his intention was more investment in our
best and brightest. I figured they could take care of
Now that the
The World is Flat
according to Tom Friedman, and our best and brightest
must compete against many millions of the best and
brightest from Asia, I have changed my mind.
7) * "...it is those college-educated workers with functional literacy little better than the average high
school graduate..." "...
who end up in these lower-level
Who's Not Working and Why? Employment, Cognitive Skills, Wages, and the Changing U.S. Labor Market.
economists Frederic L. Pryor of Swarthmore College
David L. Schaffer of the
University of Wisconsin at Eau Clair, Cambridge University Press,
contact us with your thoughts and suggestions.
"8) best for people to actually try to think about the future and not
default to education."
Peter Thiel, founder of Pay Pall who backed up his idea by awarding
Fellowships to twenty-four young people.
Each received $100,000, no strings attached to skip or quit college and start a
9) The Department of Labor reported
on page 9 of the Fall of 2000 issue of Occupational Outlook Quarterly
oversupply of college graduates for 1988-1998 was
approximately 1,900,000 and for 1998-2008 it is expected to be approximately
This means there will be almost three million college graduates from this period
not working at college graduated jobs in 2009.
This number will be even larger if:
1) the outsourcing of college
graduate jobs to India, Ireland, etc. continues to grow
2) baby boomers do not retire as expected because they have not saved enough to
10A) Education is like politics, if you really want
to know what is going on, follow the money.
Testing academic ability has become politically correct because
of lobbying by testing companies to increase profit
and because academic tests provide an easy answer for politicians wanting to
This emphasis on academics by all concerned has had adverse social and
economic effects on most students.
What a student does best, their
should be most important when developing a student's
"When making an investment, whether it be in education, capital equipment, or the stock market,
one should consider the potential income from the investment and the risk associated with
The drop in real income earned by prime age workers for many levels of education
between 1970 and 1994,
even as education attainment by these individuals was increasing
indicates a change should be made in how individuals and society distribute
funds to be spent on education.
editor of this site.
information visit Who Gets the Good Jobs and How Much They Pay
Education is Up For All, Wages are Up For Some Women
contact us with your thoughts and suggestions.
10B) College is an academic experience where one learns to lear and a social experience
where students mature.
For those with SAT scores
of about 1200 or higher, the academic experience should predominate.
Below 1000, the social experience should prevail.
economic return from investing in school is relevant, at some point,
probably around an SAT score of 1000,
the person should consider training rather than
in a World of Multiple Intelligence
10C) Maximizing economic success requires investing in your special intelligence.
Academics advise everyone to invest in their math and verbal intelligence
regardless of there special intelligence.
This results in a large number of high school and
college graduates trying to succeed
at something they do not do well rater than something they do well.
A program similar to that depicted in the movie The
School of Rock should be initiated in all schools.
Authors Note: This is not the first study
to reveal that computers do not enhance learning.
Like everything, if you really want to know what is going on, "...follow the
"Recent research indicates that college students who transfer from community
colleges are significantly less likely
to complete a 4-year college degree than
students who begin at 4-year institutions.
This paper estimates models of
college completion for both types of students.
Based on these results, an Oaxaca
decomposition indicates that students who attend 2-year colleges
are at a
disadvantage due primarily to lower individual quality rather than the lower
quality of 2-year colleges.
This result has implications for public policies
that seek to increase the role of 2-year colleges
as a means to increase the
number of students completing 4-year degrees."
Education is an admirable
thing, but is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth
knowing can be taught.
"Delivering literacy--even on the high level appropriate to a knowledge society--will be an
easier task than giving students
the capacity and the knowledge to keep on learning, and the
desire to do it."... "All it requires is to make learners achieve.
All it requires is to focus on the
strengths and talents of learners so that they excel in whatever it is they do well."
schools do not do it. They focus instead on a learner's weaknesses."
From pages 236 and 237 of The New Realities (ISBN 0060916990) by Peter F. Drucker,
Clark Professor of Social Science at Claremont Graduate School, California and considered
“the founding father of the science of management (LA Times)”
1Kevin J. Clancy, chairman and CEO of Copernicus, a global marketing consulting research firm
"...developed a statistical model to predict
MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System)
at different schools based on these socioeconomic characteristics “
... percentage of families that receive aid to dependent children; have two parents; are below the poverty line;
are white; and hold a college bachelor’s degree or higher.
What we learned is that how well children perform on MCAS scores
everything to do with parental socioeconomic backgrounds
and less to do with teachers, curricula, or what children learned in the classroom.”
1 Making more sense of MCAS scores, by Kevin
J. Clancy, Boston Globe, April 24, 2000, page A19
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The testing required by "no child left behind" is causing some students to
concentrate on test subjects
at the expense of vocational subjects.
Just what we need! Now we will have a shortage in vocational specialists
along with our surplus of college graduates.
No child left behind should be changed to a
job for every child.
If this were done, data of contained in
Job Growth by Required Education and Occupations,
All College Majors Are Created Equal, and
Without A Bachelor's Degree Have High Earnings could be used to
make educational decisions.
Every college student choosing a
major should be required
to sign a document stating they have read
Earnings Data By Major.
Education should change from an
answer based system to an
Activity Based, Real World, Question Based Academic Curriculum.
Example: Unlike fractions,
mixed numbers, and mathematics vocabulary
such as real numbers are not
relevant to real world mathematics
and should not be part of the standard mathematics curriculum.
A Critique of Standardized Tests
Not All College Majors Are Created Equal.
Academics Versus Educators
Academics are scholarly. To them, pure knowledge is of prime importance, especially in their area
Academics tend to be prejudice toward their area of expertise.
They feel everyone should have substantial knowledge in this area.
Academics who choose to work in an educational environment, usually begin by
Because they have a strong belief in their subject matter,
Academics often get involved with curriculum development and academic standards.
Educators enjoy students and the classroom environment.
Seeing someone learn is important, especially if the material will help the
student enhance their economic and social well-being.
Educators believe intelligence is normally distributed. They get discouraged
a curriculum designed by academics because said curriculum is often beyond the grasp
of academically average students.
Textbook content is controlled by academics who are influenced by
their prejudice toward the purely academic and
publishers who are concerned with profit.
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Everyone Should Understand
Most physical and personal characteristics of people are normally distributed.
2. Much of behavior is learned.
3. The majority of a person's personality is determined by the time they are six
4. Personal characteristics that do not follow the law of diminishing
marginal utility are most import to understanding human behavior.
Constant or even increasing utility may exist for reading, religion, following
sports, drinking, gambling, studying, womanizing, etc.
the Majority Can Not Understand
thinking on the margin
a double negative makes a positive
decimals, and percentages are similar
debits and credits
College Tuition is Not Going Up Rapidly
Suppose a college needs to spend an additional 6% next
It solves the problem by increasing tuition revenue by 8% and
this increase is
an increase of 6% in cash to be
received and a 2% increase in college-sponsored
I call this 2% funny money because it only exists in the mind of
manager because no cash or other valuable asset will
Interestingly, academically poor students who a college doesn't
really want do not receive
funny money financial aid and must be
able to pay 100% in real money. So they pay extra to finance those
the college really wants. Top students are drawn to a school with
funny money scholarships which are especially high for incoming Freshman
. One result is poor students who graduate often loose
a job or a place in graduate
school to a better student whose
tuition they helped finance.
Lately, colleges have been using this nonexistent funny
the college's contribution in matching programs to encourage donors
to give real cash money to their college.
I have seen two such requests
from college presidents in the past year.
Tuition increases over the past 20 years have been
overstated because of funny money as about 2% of the 8% year
after year accumulates and compounds.
One college with less than 2,000 students
increased the annual funny money budget from about
$1,000,000 to about $15,000,000 over 15 years before I lost track.
Generally it runs close to a third of tuition for most small colleges.
guidestar.org for a free IRS 990 nonprofit tax return.
Is the bookkeeping, paper
transaction used to create non-existent,
college-supplied financial aid
fraud, unethical or good marketing?
Nonprofit organizations are required to report the amount of funny money
(tuition not received or receivable in real money) on their tax return but very
Wealthy students going to colleges where they are in the bottom half
academically pay more,
Less Wealthy students going to schools where they are in the top quarter pay
The closer you are to the bottom or top of your class, the more or less you pay.
The Follow the Money at
to see how
one using much more funny
money than the other compete for students.
Note actual cash donated to the college is not Funny Money.
The wealthier the college the higher are these real money grants.
Franklin Pierce College has much higher tuition than Marietta College, but
funny money makes tuition actual paid by the students
about the same.
But average tuition is higher because of the 10 years it
took both colleges
to build the funny money portion of tuition.
Almost all college do this.
Sometime early in the 21st century, colleges began
substituting college loans
or some of the annual increase in funny money
This created he
possibility of it being paid back.
Bad debts often run over 50% but whatever they get is found money as before it
was a grant which is a gift!
THE PATH NOT TAKEN
humans took a turn from the path of our natural evolution. Maybe it is
only now that we are coming to see this alternate route. As I see it, we
living beings started out on a journey of evolving toward a more and more
refined energy. Along the way, it seems to me that we turned off this path
when we ate the apple from the tree of knowledge. Instead of letting our
natural evolution take its course, we developed language and other symbolic
abstractions and pursued this path of desire to be in control. All
knowledge is for control. That is not a bad thing, it is just what it is.
But, in the turning away from our natural evolution, we have lost something
waiting for us, but unknowable to us.
Let me back up for a minute. As I grew up,
I was always aware of observing the world around me from kind of a third person
position. I struggled in school since I sensed that all this knowledge was
mostly pretty useless. I still did ok, but as my counselors always said, “he
does not fully apply himself”. Yes, I held back and somehow preserved my
awareness. I6 did not identify or attach to the path of knowledge. I believe
that it was this sense of separation that led me to having some very powerful
experiences that let me see more fully the folly of living in knowledge. I have
noticed that almost all of the writers about this kind of stuff report the same
kind of similar separation in growing up. So maybe it comes built into some of
us, I don’t know.
Awareness evolves and knowledge accumulates. We
can not control the evolution of our awareness any more than we control how tall
we grow. Knowledge holds out the hope of more and control by more and more
accumulation until we get to the point of knowing so much that we get to a place
of frustration, anger, fear, or other emotion because the control never comes.
Meanwhile, on a parallel path is the evolving of our awareness, if you have
given it some of your energy. That is why we meditate. The quieting of the
knowledge filled chatter in our brain, allows some of our human energy to be
used to grow our awareness. Again, to meditate to “get” more awareness is false
meditation based on the knowledge path. Awareness comes on its own terms.
There is no clearer evidence for this than what I
saw in my dog Phoebe. Her awareness around what I was up to often astounded
me. I wrote before about the many times I tried to trick her into going to the
barn to get bathed. She always knew. Her awareness was evolved to a place my
knowledge could not comprehend. Castaneda, in his various books, speaks to
this other reality also, but to get there you must stop the internal chatter.
Quieting the knowledge mind lets the awareness mind move forward.
A couple final points. Your knowledge mind
will always try to capture and control the awareness path. This defeats the
purpose, and letting go of control is the hardest thing we knowledge based
people can do. Secondly, it is an interesting practice to read the Bible, Zen,
or any books on consciousness and see if you can read it as “not knowledge”.
See if you can read the sayings of Jesus and hear it as not a set of words to
live by, but a pointing to getting out of your knowledge and into your
Tom Lane 7/11/0
agree with the idea of a longer school year but disagree with having a longer
Studies have proven that two ninety day terms with a long summer vacation is
It is also economically
inefficient. A longer
school day does not take into consideration diminishing returns.
The attention span of
many students decreases as the day wares on.
Little additional learning, and for some, less learning would take place with a
longer school day.
present high school system
has five fifty-minute academic classes per day for 180 days which yields
(50 minutes)(5 days)(180 days) = 45,000 minutes per year.
The new system would have three 15 week terms separated by two-week vacations.
The remaining six class days would be for holidays during the year or an added
This 225 day school year would have five 45 minute classes with five minutes
between each class. Total minutes per year would be (45 minutes)(5 days)(225 days)
This would be a 10% increase. Schools would run double sessions from 8 AM to 12
Noon an 1 PM to 5 PM. In the beginning, students would be required to attend
225 days per
year and teachers would be required to teach three sessions over 225 days but
would have a shorter day. In
time, both students and teachers worthy could be double up creating
vacation time and/or early graduation.
years of public free education was a good number for many years and now
that pre-school and kindergarten is required, elementary and high school
should be ten years.
Student scold stop at sixteen or go on to higher education of some kind.
facilities would be used
much more efficiently. In affect, school utilization would double. School
districts with below standard facilities could close poor schools.
School officials would find many unique uses for vacant classrooms,
facilities, and teachers who want to earn extra money.
We Should Educate for Careers.
Change Education for an innovative
About the Author of
Interesting Thoughts Concerning Education
Please contact me
with your thoughts and suggestions.