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America’s Skills Challenge: Millennials and the Future
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Education and Economic Growth
Spring 2008 | Education Next
A new report from ETS highlights a troubling paradox. While millennials in the U.S. have attended more years of school than previous generations, their skills in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving are lower than those of previous generations and of their peers in other nations. The authors conclude
As a country, simply providing more education may not be the answer. There needs to be a greater focus on skills — not just educational attainment — or we are likely to experience adverse consequences that could undermine the fabric of our democracy and community.
These same points were made in a 2008 study by Eric A. Hanushek, Dean T. Jamison, Eliot A. Jamison and Ludger Woessmann published in Education Next. That study, “Education and Economic Growth: It’s not just going to school, but learning something while there that matters,” discussed problems with using average years of schooling as an indicator of a country’s human capital and analyzed the role of both school attainment and cognitive skills in economic growth.
– Education Next