Is Education No Longer the ‘Great Equalizer’?

In Education On
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There is an ongoing debate over what kind of investments in human capital — roughly the knowledge, skills, habits, abilities, experience, intelligence, training, judgment, creativity and wisdom possessed by an individual — contribute most to productivity and life satisfaction.

Is education no longer “a great equalizer of the conditions of men,” as Horace Mann declared in 1848, but instead a great divider? Can the Biden administration’s efforts to distribute cash benefits to the working class and the poor produce sustained improvements in the lives of those on the bottom tiers of income and wealth — or would a substantial investment in children’s training and enrichment programs at a very early age produce more consistent and permanent results?

Take the case of education. On this score — if the assumption is “the more education, the better” — then the United States looks pretty good.

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