Today’s High School Grads Are Just as Good as Yesterday’s

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Tyler Cowen recommends a post from Steve Postrel attempting to explain why students are willing to pay ever higher amounts for a college degree. Unfortunately, it starts like this:

Typical graduate business school education has indeed become less rigorous over time, as has typical college education. But typical high school education has declined in quality just as much. As a result, the human capital difference between a college and high-school graduate has increased.

If anyone wants to present some evidence that high school education has declined over the past 30 years, I’m all ears. But as far as I know, there isn’t any such evidence because it isn’t true. I’m willing to buy the idea that there are specific things that high schools don’t do as well as they used to — though if you have examples please provide some real evidence that they’re true! — but overall? Most of the data I’ve seen suggests that today’s high school grads know at least as much, and occasionally even more, than high school grads of the past.

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And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

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