Caplan’s subtitle promises to explain “why the education system is a waste of time and money.” He exempts the teaching of essentials like reading, writing, and basic math, and professional and vocational programs that develop in-demand job skills. As for the rest of the curriculum, forget it. “Teach curious students about ideas and culture,” he suggests. “Leave the rest in peace and hope they come around.” The core question that Caplan addresses is why employers so richly reward high school and college degrees, when the content of the coursework has so little to do with the jobs employers offer. Yet college graduates earn substantially more than high school graduates, who earn more than high school dropouts.
Read all of Gene Epstein's review of Bryan Caplan's new book in City Journal.
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