Leamer's review of The World is Flat

National Journal writer argues against two "orthodox" beliefs about education:

Summing up, the orthodoxy to emerge from all this is (a) better education is the answer to all our problems, and (b) improving education is extremely difficult to do (see how hard we tried?).

I think this is wrong on both counts. We do know how to improve education, and, politics aside, it is not even that difficult. That is the good news. Unfortunately, if we ever get around to it, we will find that most of the problems we were trying to solve will refuse to go away. Improving education is enormously desirable in itself. Especially at the bottom of the skills pyramid, it requires no ulterior justification. We should do it. But for society at large, it is not the panacea that so many people take it to be.

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