Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Education Gap

A great piece by David Brooks over at the NYTimes. Unfortunately the NYTimes now thinks it is a good idea to charge people to access to read their columnists, so I can no longer link to them. But, fear not, this savvy blogger did a 2 minute google search and was able to find it over at

As you doubtless know, as the information age matures, a new sort of stratification is setting in, between those with higher education and those without. College graduates earn nearly twice as much as high school graduates, and people with professional degrees earn nearly twice as much as those with college degrees.

But worse, this economic stratification is translating into social stratification. Only 28 percent of American adults have a college degree, but most of us in this group find ourselves in workplaces in social milieus where almost everybody has been to college. A social chasm is opening up between those in educated society and those in noneducated society, and you are beginning to see vast behavioral differences between the two groups.

The divorce rate for high school grads is now twice as high as that of college grads. High school grads are twice as likely to smoke as college grads. They are much less likely to exercise. College grads are nearly twice as likely to vote. They are more than twice as likely to do voluntary work. They are much more likely to give blood.

But now the gap between rich and poor is widening. Students in the poorest quarter of the population have an 8.6 percent chance of getting a college degree. Students in the top quarter have a 74.9 percent chance.
In the knowledge economy there are no good jobs for those without college degrees. The economical have nots and the educational have nots are now one and the same. How do you solve this problem and give everyone an equal opportunity at life? I don't know, but this issue seems to big to not keep looking.

Via New York Times

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