The Benefits of Education and the Costs of Common Core


The benefits of education are illusory, argues Bryan Caplan. Education benefits us economically through signaling, but standardized tests and Common Core make these gains illusory. A drastic cut in education resources would increase the costs to students, parents, and rich kids. Then what is the point of education? What does it do for society? And what are the costs of Common Core? Let’s explore each topic further. After reading these three essays, you’ll be better equipped to debate these arguments.

Lessons from the Middle Ages

While there are plenty of lessons from history and geography, we might not always think about the Middle Ages when it comes to education. This is why introducing this era into the classroom can prove to be valuable for many reasons. First of all, it’s fascinating to learn about the lifestyles and educational standards of people living during this period. Second, we can use these lessons to teach students about history. Middle Ages encyclopedias and records are excellent resources to learn about this time period.

Formal vs non-formal education

When defining the difference between formal and non-formal education, it is important to consider the differences between these two forms of educational experiences. In general, formal education involves a structured educational model and updated course contents, while non-formal education involves various social, cultural, and community interactions. Generally, students who participate in non-formal education will receive little or no formal education, but they can acquire many soft skills.

Latent functions of education

While the manifest curriculum teaches students the subject matter necessary for life, the latent functions of education help children develop skills in citizenship, patriotism, and other subjects sanctioned by authority. Students who learn to communicate effectively in writing and speaking can use these skills to share information through formal presentations or informal discussions with professors or peers. This knowledge will help them later on in life, including in a career. This is why many institutions focus on both the visible and latent functions of education.

Common Core

Parents are starting to ask themselves, “What is Common Core?” There are several resources to help parents understand what the new standards mean for their child’s education. The NGA Center for Best Practices, CCSSO, and other advocacy organizations developed an extensive website with information on Common Core. Parent Roadmaps give parents detailed information on what students will learn and how they can help them learn. Both the English and Spanish versions are available. Parents can also access the National Parent Teacher Association’s “Parent’s Guide to Student Success.” These guides offer helpful information on the common core education standards and how to work with your child’s teacher.

Alternative schooling models

The different types of alternative schools all share some of the same characteristics, but they also differ in their actual operations. Some alternative schools serve specific populations of students, such as teenage parents or dropout prevention, or those who are violent or have a learning disability. Others serve students who are not quite ready for traditional education, such as those in the juvenile justice system or court-adjudicated. The following are some of the most common types of alternative schools.

Values of education

A value is a human trait, which is experienced and is shaped by the environment that surrounds a person. In educational theories, values are often associated with specific purposes or goals, such as culture, utility, information, mental discipline, power, or social efficiency. Some theories consider these specific goals as right or wrong, based on moral principles. But, the actual purpose of education must be to produce a well-rounded person.