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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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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