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Educational Adequacy in the Twenty-First Century

This report begins with a brief history of the co-evolution of educational adequacy and democratic capitalism. This
will help the reader understand how education has gained prominent role in the U.S. society and how the notions of
what is adequate education changed as the economy and social institutions have evolved. The report then discusses the difficulty of defining education adequacy in a rapidly changing economy and educational system. It then presents a simplified approach to calculating a standard for measuring educational adequacy based on the earnings of graduates, to give the reader a concrete grasp of how these principles can be applied. At the same time, the authors acknowledge the need to deal with numerous complexities if our concept of economic self-sufficiency is to be applied to real world conditions, and understand that policymakers and practitioners will need to make additional adjustments for this model to fit their particular circumstances. This report ends with a discussion about some of the issues that will need to be grappled with, and suggests that the answers to many questions will need to be based on very subjective decisions, or on social consensus.

Date of publication: May 2018


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