The economic question of education

“Students, meanwhile, are not buying education any more than the government is. They are buying degrees, whose main purpose is to signal to employers that an individual went to a—preferably highly selective—university.” “Evaluators relied so intensely on ‘school’ as a criterion of evaluation not because they believed that the content of elite curricula better prepared students for life in their firms…but because of the perceived rigor of the admissions process,” Ms Rivera wrote. Both are such true and a powerful statement that the rest of the article continues to prove how deep this cut to higher education goes. “The government is developing a “scorecard” of universities, but it seems unlikely to include earnings data. “A combined effort by the White House, the Council of Economic Advisers and the Office of Management and Budget is needed,” says Mark Schneider, a former commissioner of the National Centre for Education Statistics. Republicans object on privacy grounds (even though no personal information would be published); Democrats, who rely on the educational establishment for support, resist publication of the data because the universities do.”Essentially what I am reading here is that the tuition received from universities is supporting a particular party. Though this article also says “A report by a congressional committee published in 2012 found that for-profits had a 64% drop-out rate and spent 22% of revenues on marketing, advertising, recruiting and admissions, against 18% on teaching.”What is the other 60% spent on?

So further reading through the reading for this week I see where our very own professor, James Luke discusses Early Child Development. In reading this article, Caring for Children Is Caring for the Economy he explains that “people who work with kids in early childcare programs are often under-paid and under-funded”. Following up my earlier question of where is the other 60% spent in for-profit colleges/universities? I understand that some is spent on operating cost, but why instead of supporting the politicians (which I completely understand is the political game) is this money not being put towards Early Child development? According to this same article “The reason ECE is so powerful is because very young children’s brains and minds under go such rapid development in the first few months and years.”Since certain universities are so selective (such as Harvard) and ECE is so important and brings such a high return of investment, would it not be so much more advantageous for these universities to make this investment?   If parents are so needy to buy the most elite degrees for their children so they may climb the social ladder why are they not urging these universities from the very beginning? “Not only does this sensory pathway and language development provide the foundation for higher cognitive function, it also provides the basis for “emotional intelligence” (EQ).  EQ, or what Heckman calls character, includes the qualities such as persistence, creativity, communication, and social skills that are necessary for success in later education, careers, and life in general.”

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