The case against education : why the education system is a waste of time and money / Bryan Caplan.

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    • Abstract:
      Summary: Despite being immensely popular--and immensely lucrative education is grossly overrated. In this explosive book, Bryan Caplan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and conformity - in other words, to signal the qualities of a good employee. Learn why students hunt for easy As and casually forget most of what they learn after the final exam, why decades of growing access to education have not resulted in better jobs for the average worker but instead in runaway credential inflation, how employers reward workers for costly schooling they rarely if ever use, and why cutting education spending is the best remedy. Caplan draws on the latest social science to show how the labor market values grades over knoweldge, and why the more education your rivals have, the more you need to impress employers. He explains why graduation is our society's top conformity signal, and why even the most useless degrees can certify employability. He advocates two major policy responses. The first is educational austerity. Goverment needs to sharply cut education funding to curb this wasteful rat race. The second is more vocational education, because practical skills are more socially valuable than teaching students how to outshine their peers. Romantic notions about education being "good for the soul" must yield to careful research and common sense - The Case against Education points the way. -- from dust jacket.
    • Content Notes:
      Introduction -- The magic of education -- The puzzle is real : the ubiquity of useless education -- The puzzle is real : the handsome rewards of useless education -- The signs of signaling : in case you're still not convinced -- Who cares if it's signaling? : the selfish return to education -- We care if it's signaling : the social return to education -- The white elephant in the room : we need lots less education -- 1 > 0 : we need more vocational education -- Nourishing mother : is education good for the soul? -- Five chats on education and enlightenment -- Conclusion.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-380) and index.
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