The questionable efficacy of additional years of education?

This article is from 2019:

Robert Pianta’s claim is incorrect regardless of how the data is sliced. According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ database, inflation-adjusted education funding increased by at least 36% since 1989 — whether you look at state, local, federal, or total dollars per pupil. The increases are much larger if you look at overall spending amounts rather than per-pupil totals.

As i was saying…

As someone who has experience in this profession I can tell you that many of those who work in this profession whether as administrators or educators do appreciate the fact that most of what is learned is content that will largely be forgotten shortly after the student finishes a course. Can anyone quantify the benefit in that?


That’s not the point of this thread. What is being contested particularly by Bryan Caplan is that all the additional years studying various subject matter show’s little to no evidence of any practical substantial value. It’s not about weather that piece of paper can get someone into the door of a good company, it’s about weather or not we should have students spending eight years of their lives to get that piece of paper?

Do you mind me asking what state do you live in? One of my former colleagues who was a teacher home schooled his children as well (I couldn’t help but to find it odd that someone who was a public school teacher didn’t send his kids to public schools, but I digress). Part of my interest in discussing this topic is to find out what approach other states take.

Time to get off the couch and join the conversation! :smile:

We primarily resided in Pennsylvania during the years my kids were schooling, but also resided for periods in Tennessee, both Carolinas and Virginia. We were in Pennsylvania during the time period that they finished home schooling and left for college.

During that final time period, we specifically resided within Lackawanna Trail School District, which covered several townships and boroughs in Wyoming County and Lackawanna County.

Pennsylvania is pretty typical as far as school curriculum goes.

Your 1st question is the answer to your second, but as I said, it’s not about getting in the door.

If one wishes to be “upwardly mobile”, one must be prepared to move up.

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Before spending a dollar…I ask myself…what’s the plan? Where am I now? Where do I want to be? How am I going to get there? These are the three steps for planning your life. Many young people have no plan except…to go to school. Where are you trying to be? Why are you doing this? If you don’t have a plan, allow me to share with you, the end result? You’ll get NOWHERE…FAST. :sunglasses:

I’m still not following you? Are stating that the current system is indeed effective due to the “signaling” (as Caplan puts it) effect, which allows employers to help determine which job candidates will most likely conform to the system, even though much of the coursework does little to enhance human capital?

Nowhere have I disparaged education in a broad sense. I have nothing definitively negative to say regarding elementary (K-5) education. Nor have I said anything negative about education in middle school (6-8). Not saying there can’t be improvements but that’s not where my experience has been. My issue is with high school - which I have nearly 20 years experience with - and college, with the issue primarily being the amount of time and total required coursework in each. Regarding your responses all you do is say your sources are garbage but then provide no empirical evidence to contradict anything said. Could you present any empirical data conclusively refuting specific claims in Caplan’s book?

That is because the system, specifically at the high school level, does little to nothing to prepare students for life, and just tells our students they need to go to college. Most of what high school is about is course content much of which has little practical value and will shortly be forgotten the moment they are done with the class. Much of the goal of the high school education apparatus is to push more customers into the college higher ed apparatus.

No, what I’m saying is if you are evaluating the value of a college degree on the advantage for the first 10 jobs, you’re looking at it wrong.

It’s not about this job or even this year. It’s about 10 years from now. Or 20.

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Sales and data analysis are hugely applicable in many careers and would be on my list to include.

I will say that when I was getting my Accounting degree with a Finance minor, I took my Calculus 1 class with a professor from South Africa whose entire education, other than his Ph.D., had been earned in South Africa. He had an entirely different way of presenting math than I had ever seen. I ended up getting my first A in math in that class. In my advanced finance and economics classes after that, I was always in the top 5% of the class, competing with students who had 2 or 3 semesters of calculus. I put off taking Calculus II until my last semester, as I didn’t really need it. I just wanted to take that in case I ended up applying for a Ph.D. program later. I ended up with an A in that class as well. I had already taught myself concepts in multivariate calculus using the approach that the Calculus 1 professor had taught me in his class.


I miss the days when conservatives defended the classical education instead of advocating universities act like super expensive vo techs.


Wow…I actually agree with this. :astonished::grin:
I know for me I went straight through, 5 years of undergrad(changed my major from Electrical Engineering to computer science), 3 years of grad and actually got into a PhD program right after that, but I decided it wasn’t necessary unless I wanted to teach or do research. In my profession, having a advanced degree is a huge plus especially if you’re an AA(that’s another issue altogether). I’m not going to say it’s for everybody, but like you said it does move the ceiling up and increase options. Even now in my last year before turning 40, I still take college classes or professional training to stay ahead of the curve as it relates to technology and/or cyber security.

What a stupid post. Francis Bacon doesn’t make a good sandwich.

And that is the key to upward mobility.

“Chance favors the prepared mind.”
Louis Pasteur

A combination is needed. Some vocational certifications for the first 10 jobs. Develop a skill.


Degrees to get the ceiling up.