Questioning Educational Assumptions

Two recent publications, one in the United States and one in the United Kingdom, raise fundamental questions about the way we organize the education of our children and the soundness of the assumptions on which education systems are built.  The publication of Eric A. Hanushek's "The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality,"1 in December 2010, is beginning to attract deserved attention beyond the academic economics community.  A readily accessible document (apart from short sections of statistical formulae), the paper merits reading by every school committee, principal, politician, and professor of education. As a layman, I cannot say that Hanushek's conclusions are correct, but they are credible and appear to be sound.  As such, they deserve public debate on many levels, refinement, and, if correct, action. In brief, the article challenges -- by statistical analysis -- a number of the core beliefs and practices in education.  These include the benefits of  a)...(Read Full Article)