In today’s New York Times “Room for Debate” feature, the topic is how much college students learn. It was prompted by the furor over the recent book Academically Adrift, in which the authors conclude that many students learn little or nothing. I’m one of six contributors, but there is remarkably little debate here. Apparently, the editors at the Times could not find anyone willing to argue that the authors are mistaken and college students really are learning a great deal.
It’s often said that the U.S. is such a wealthy nation because we “invest” so much in the education of our citizens, but the truth is actually the other way around. Only a very wealthy nation could possibly afford to have an educational system that costs so much and delivers so little as ours.