Why More Education Won’t Fix Economic Inequality

Neil Irwin, New York Times, Apr 03, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The only real way to address income inequality is to directly address income inequality. And in my view, most education 'reform' efforts are tactics designed to obscure this fact. "See? We are doing something about inequality. We are focusing on testing and educational outcomes." No, it doesn't work that way. Education empowers, and it liberates, but it does not by itself solve systemic inequalities in society (and when viewed that way, we have to ask, how could it?). As this report says, "more education would be great news for middle and lower-income Americans, increasing their pay and economic security. It just isn’t up to the task of meaningfully reducing inequality, which is being driven by the sharp upward movement of the very top of the income distribution."

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