"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Smelling the Coffee

With the President's recent barnstorming among Arabs, er, Muslims in India and Pakistan, the argument was renewed, yet, again that more American engineers will somehow cure the coming flood of outsourcing. Even so, the veil finally seems to be lifting on the grand diversion of blaming the schools for callous econonic decisions by greedy corporationists:

"One could be educationally competitive and easily lose out in the global economic marketplace because of significantly lower wages being paid elsewhere," said Sheldon E. Steinbach, general counsel of the American Council on Education, an umbrella group that represents most of the nation's major colleges and universities.Some analysts think that something like what Steinbach described is
already underway.

Starting in 1975, the earnings difference between high school- and college-educated workers steadily widened for 25 years. But since 2000, the trend appears to have stalled. Census figures show that average, after-inflation earnings of college graduates fell by more than 5% between 2000 and 2004, whereas the earnings of those with only high school degrees rose slightly.

Most studies suggest that beyond the manufacturing sector, the "offshoring" of jobs has been comparatively modest. But some analysts say the ground has been laid for a substantial pickup. In a recent paper, Blinder offered a rough estimate tha suggested that as many as 42 million jobs, or nearly one-third of the nation's total, were susceptible to offshoring.

These analysts warn that more education alone will do little to stop the flow of jobs to other countries.

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