Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home


[Susan notes: Excellent point: It’s altogether possible to be highly well-educated and still be largely unemployable.]

Published in LA Weekly
07/27/2006

To the editor


Harold Meyerson’s argument is marred by his failure to distinguish between education and training [“Downwardly Mo,” July 20–27]. It’s altogether possible to be highly well-educated and still be largely unemployable. In fact, what education prizes, training deplores. Education is concerned with concepts, while training is concerned with techniques. As a result, possession of a college degree is no assurance of future economic well-being. If anything, it is a union card that certifies little beyond the holder’s ability to have attended four years of schooling after high school. This is particularly so because of the absence of any objective measure of the learning that took place.



It’s time that the U.S. disabused itself of the comforting delusion that the country is better able to compete in the global economy by increasing the number of graduates that colleges and universities turn out. Not only does this view falsely equate quantity with quality, but it also assumes that all fields of study in higher education are created equal in this fast-changing and highly unpredictable world. Alan Blinder makes these facts abundantly clear. Yet, it’s hard to break the hold that denial exerts on our collective thinking.

Walt Gardner


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.