Education system in American History

Reuters The Best-Educated Generation in American History Isn't

In 1900, the typical American was in school for no more than eight years. Less than a quarter of men and women graduated from high school. And finishing college was a luxury for the one percent.

The 100-year story is up-up-and-away for both high school and college graduation, but as you can see there is some stagnation, too. College attendance among Americans of non-Asian descent has flattened. High school completion rates for Americans of African and Latin American descent still lag the national average badly.

Teen Culture

So even as this generation is clearly the most-educated in American history, people can (and do) get fooled by the historical thrust of education attainment and conclude that we've made all the progress we can make. Cable TV, in particular, is lousy with calls to replace college, skip college, or say "we've tried that" when somebody proposes higher graduation rates as a solution to social mobility problems. It's a dangerous and expensive complacency, because the minority of teenagers who aren't graduating from high school and college are still sacrificing future wages and productivity.

These "sacrifices" have a multiplicative effect. They cascade down the generations, because the education system is, perhaps, our most effective tool for intergenerational mobility. Young teenagers whose fathers graduated from high school are 8 times more likely to graduate, themselves. "The high school dropout rate among people whose fathers were dropouts is 22.2 percent, " Evan Soltas explained. "The dropout rate with high-school-grad fathers is 2.9 percent." He goes on:

Let's assume that the social value of a high school degree is $30, 000 per graduate; that's roughly the difference in average income between non-grads and grads. Public policy that supposes they are helping one person assesses the value of that degree at $30, 000, obviously. Public policy that supposes they are helping an infinite succession of people assesses the value of that degree at $819, 000.

The point to take away isn't that a high-school degree is worth exactly $819, 000. Rather, the benefits to high school graduation are much more valuable than we might think.

The education story of the 20th century is a walloping success story, but those who have fallen in the cracks belong to an underclass of US economy that rarely shares in the fruits of GDP growth and productivity booms. Yes, this is the most-educated generation in American history, but that achievement is another step forward, not a finish line.


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What are your thoughts on why my opinion of the public education system in America fails? | Yahoo Answers

our system hasn't failed the teachers and students have. my ex wife was from france shes is now a teacher here in the states. our high school kids are learning stuff that europe teaches in middle school. our american students aren't in school to learn its all about who's popular and a Fashion show. in my opinion we are way behind because teachers and students alike are lazy. my ex wife and lots of people that went to collage here in the states say most of what they learned in collage here they learned in high school there. if everyone can to school on the same level in uniforms and ther…

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