NYT's Room for Debate Looks at the Results of Higher Education

George Leef


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 that college students are actually 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.

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