Fixing the Education System is This Generation’s Greatest Challenge

Nicholas Kristof: “The best escalator to opportunity in America is education. But a new study underscores that the escalator is broken.”

“We expect each generation to do better, but, currently, more young American men have less education (29 percent) than their parents than have more education (20 percent).”

“Russia now has the largest percentage of adults with a university education of any industrialized country — a position once held by the United States, although we’re plunging in that roster.”

“A basic element of the American dream is equal access to education as the lubricant of social and economic mobility. But the American dream seems to have emigrated because many countries do better than the United States in educational mobility,” according to a new study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“We have constructed an education system, dependent on local property taxes, that provides great schools for the rich kids in the suburbs who need the least help, and broken, dangerous schools for inner-city children who desperately need a helping hand. Too often, America’s education system amplifies not opportunity but inequality.”

“Until the 1970s, we were pre-eminent in mass education, and Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz of Harvard University argue powerfully that this was the secret to America’s economic rise. Then we blew it … “

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