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Dec 15, 2006

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Virgil

I don't know how to feel about government education. As a homeschooling dad I cannot even begin to compare quality home school education with government-run facilities where borderline ignorant teachers teach my kids the fundamentals of life.

Also, the question of "education as a basic human right" comes to mind, and for the life of me I cannot justify the massive and astronomically expensive educational system that is in place today in this country. As the trends of education continue, market economics will dictate that as HS and College education become more available they will also become less important - if in theory it hits 100% then in essence will become impossible to quantify the returns. Really we are talking about diminishing returns here: as more people become more "educated" the marginal benefits will go down dramatically.

Michael W. Kruse

Interesting observations, Virgil. I think through most of the 20th Century, the factory model of education was in vogue. Line the kids up in rows and columns and pour knowledge in their heads. Education now requires much greater customization and variation to really educate well. Bureaucracies, which schools usually are, don't often do customization and variation very well. I am not all opposed to public schools but I do think our culture is struggling to find a new model.

Also, with regard to college, I read an article some time back that talked about how college can actually hurt your life chances. People have this idea that if you generically go to college it will benefit you economically. However, if your real call and passion is to something that doesn’t require a college degree, then the years spent in college is an opportunity cost (lost time) and can stack you up with thousands of dollars of debt.

I have a friend who has never been to college. He went to tech school to do computer programming. He loves it. He has worked in it for almost two decades. College would have added nothing economically to his situation and actually would have set him back financially. We need to think more strategically sometimes, I think.

Kristiaan J. Hardin

the shock of jobs going from unskilled to technical labor within a generation(forty years) has led to higher drop-out rates, more lower-class citizens, and will lead to, within the next fifty years, higher poverty levels and government-assisted family households.

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