The Case Against Education | Quote 02672

The High School Survey of Student Engagement, probably the single best study of how high school students feel about school, reports that 66% of high school students say they’re bored in class every day. Seventeen percent say they’re bored in every class every day. Only 2% claim they’re never bored in class. Why so bored? Eighty-two percent say the material isn’t interesting; 41% say the material isn’t relevant. Another research team gave beepers to middle school students to capture their feelings in real time. During schoolwork, students were bored 36% of the time, versus 17% for all other activities. No wonder a major Gates Foundation study ranked boredom the most important reason why kids drop out of high school.

The Case Against Education | Quote 02559

Most critics of our education system complain we aren’t spending our money in the right way, or that preachers in teachers’ clothing are leading our nation’s children down dark paths. While I semisympathize, these critics miss what I see as our educational system’s supreme defect: there’s way too much education. Typical students burn thousands of hours studying material that neither raises their productivity nor enriches their lives.

The Case Against Education | Quote 02405

Making IQ higher is easy. Keeping IQ higher is hard. Researchers call this “fadeout.” Fadeout for early childhood education is especially well documented. After six years in the famous Milwaukee Project, experimental subjects’ IQs were 32 points higher than controls’. By age fourteen, this advantage had declined to 10 points. In the Perry Preschool program, experimental subjects gained 13 points of IQ, but all this vanished by age 8. Head Start raises preschoolers’ IQs by a few points, but gains disappear by the end of kindergarten.

The Case Against Education | Quote 02014

...from kindergarten on, students spend thousands of hours studying subjects irrelevant to the modern labor market. How can this be? Why do English classes focus on literature and poetry instead of business and technical writing? Why do advanced math classes bother with proofs almost no student can follow? When will the typical student use history? Trigonometry? Art? Music? Physics? “Physical Education”? Spanish? French? Latin! (High schools still teach it, believe it or not.) 5 The class clown who snarks, “What does this have to do with real life?,” is on to something.

The Case Against Education | Quote 02366

The High School Survey of Student Engagement, probably the single best study of how high school students feel about school, reports that 66% of high school students say they’re bored in class every day. Seventeen percent say they’re bored in every class every day. Only 2% claim they’re never bored in class. Why so bored? Eighty-two percent say the material isn’t interesting; 41% say the material isn’t relevant. Another research team gave beepers to middle school students to capture their feelings in real time. During schoolwork, students were bored 36% of the time, versus 17% for all other activities. No wonder a major Gates Foundation study ranked boredom the most important reason why kids drop out of high school.

The Case Against Education | Quote 02362

Most critics of our education system complain we aren’t spending our money in the right way, or that preachers in teachers’ clothing are leading our nation’s children down dark paths. While I semisympathize, these critics miss what I see as our educational system’s supreme defect: there’s way too much education. Typical students burn thousands of hours studying material that neither raises their productivity nor enriches their lives.

The Case Against Education | Quote 02358

...from kindergarten on, students spend thousands of hours studying subjects irrelevant to the modern labor market. How can this be? Why do English classes focus on literature and poetry instead of business and technical writing? Why do advanced math classes bother with proofs almost no student can follow? When will the typical student use history? Trigonometry? Art? Music? Physics? “Physical Education”? Spanish? French? Latin! (High schools still teach it, believe it or not.) 5 The class clown who snarks, “What does this have to do with real life?,” is on to something.