Phi Beta Cons

That Tired ‘Leading the World’ Cliché

In this interview with Fareed Zakaria, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan repeats that tired cliché about how the U.S. used to “lead the world” in percentage of young people who graduated from college. Now, we’ve “fallen” to 15th place and need to “wake up.”

I suppose Duncan is so steeped in the educationista view that more years in school and more credentials automatically mean higher levels of learning and skill that it would never cross his mind to wonder if all our “investment” in education just makes it longer and most expensive without any real gain.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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