Friday, August 03, 2012

A Better Educated Populace Would Demand Better Economists

Diane Ravitch:

As I read the article, I thought about how American policymakers look enviously at Japan’s high test scores on international assessments.

And it struck me that the economic problems in Japan are not caused by the schools. And the high test scores are not a source of entrepreneurship, nor have they guaranteed a strong economy.

All this deserves consideration. In our nation, our greatest strength is creativity, innovation, risk-taking, and imagination.

Now our policymakers want us to use Japan and other nations with high test scores as a model, claiming that this will lead us to even greater economic growth in the future.

Japan’s dilemma today disproves the theory on which contemporary corporate-driven school reform is based.

Let us learn from their example.

Economic decisions drive the economy. Creative people build a better economy. Higher test scores do not produce a better economy, nor do they nurture the creative genius needed for future innovation.

The long term failure of American education to create an engaged, informed critical populace has left us vulnerable to the growth suppressing policies of the Eric Hanusheks and Ben Bernankes of the world.

Teaching Keynesian economics and labor history is more straightforward than teaching creativity, innovation, risk-taking, and imagination. It would lead to greater economic growth, as well.

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