Is Education A Robbery?
One of our expectations about education is that it will pay off in terms of upward mobility. Historically, the correlation between education and income has been strong. But in the early 1970 s a contradiction developed between education and the economy. Our value of education and our average educational attainment outstripped the capacity of the economy to absorb the graduates. Since the 1970s, high-school graduates have experienced a striking decrease in earnings, making them the first generation since World WarⅡ to face a lower standard of living than their parents had.
Experts have argued that this contradiction is at the heart of the problem of public education today. It is not, as business leaders claim, that the schools are failing to properly educate students, that they are turning out young people who are inadequately prepared to function in the workplace. The real problem is a dearth of economic opportunities for students who are not continuing on to college.
College graduates also are having difficulty finding jobs. Even when they do, the jobs may not be commensurate with their training and expectations. Part of the problem is that too many young Americans aspire to have professional jobs, making disappointment and frustration inevitable for some. Many students assumed that what was true of an individu-al — that the higher the education, the better the job opportunities —would also be true for an entire society. But when the numbers of better-educated young people became too great, the economy could no longer absorb them
Another part of the problem is the assumption that greater educational attainment guarantees career advancement. In fact, employers do not routinely reward educational attainment; rather, they reward it only when they believe it will contribute to the employee's productivity.
We should not overlook the fact that there is still a strong correlation between education, occupation, and income. College graduates have a strong advantage over those with less education. But the payoff is neither as large nor as certain as it once was.
Unfortunately, Americans have focused so strongly on the economic payoff that many consider their college education useless if it does not yield a desirable, well-paying job. Only in this sense can we speak of an "oversupply" of college graduates. We could argue that all or at least the majority of Americans would profit by some degree because higher education can enable the individual to think more deeply, explore more widely, and enjoy a greater range of experiences.
Ⅰ. Choose the be st answer to fill in the blanks :
1. In the eyes of the public , higher education can_______ in terms of obtaining a decent job.
A. pay back B. pay off C. pay out D. pay up
2. Things_______ to be exactly as the professor had foreseen.
A. turned up B. turned on C. turned out D. turned over
3. He was satisfied with the salary that was_________ with his abilities.
A. familiar B. proportional C. content D. commensurate
Ⅱ. Write these sentences in inverted order beginning ea ch one with the words in italics :
1. I realized what was happening only then. 2. There were piles of books, magazines and newspapers on the floor.
3. I have never heard such nonsense in all my life .
Ⅰ. 1. B 2. C 3 . D
Ⅱ. 1. Only then did I realize what was happening. 2. On the floor were piles of books, magazines and newspapers. 3. Never in all my life have I heard such nonsense.
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