Education: A Golden Age

“The education sector’s structure and policies will change more in the next 3 years than they changed in the last 2,500 years”

“Public education”


We experience daily, on both sides of the Atlantic, the sincere and severe need to challenge people to be specific about what they mean by “public education”. We presently detect at least four levels of governmental involvement in the education of young students:

Level I: Government establishes curriculum standards. For this level there is strong popular support, we think, although in a globalized education world student performance and demand will, through the huge number of new education and information channels, make certain standards rise flexibly to the top (the International Baccalaureate trouncing national high school standards etc.).

Level II: Government ensures, through taxation, a level of education funding for each student. This kind of involvement is of great benefit for the economy and society overall; almost total popular support.

Level III: Government facilitates education by managing (or overseeing the management of) education facilities (buildings and networks) and performing administrative functions (such as running inter/national student course record databases – probably also running education offering web portals). Probably a logical role, given the infrastructure put in place over many years.

Level IV: Government is the dominant education provider and establishes corresponding system (hires teachers, is heavily involved in course selection/development, etc.). This is an experiment which started around 1800 and which was expanded around 1920; it has been increasingly unsuccessful in the last 40 years as the systems that go with this level were only partially able to meet the needs of the 1910-1970-era industrial society (as opposed to those of the agrarian society) and have not been able and will never be able to meet the needs of the atomized global mixed high-tech industrial/service society.

Which is your “public education”?


**Høyres politikk** / “Offentlig skole”

Det offentlige skal fortsatt ha ansvaret for grunnleggende offentlige tjenester som utdanning, helse, pleie og omsorg. Men offentlig ansvar trenger ikke bety at det offentlige trenger produsere tjenestene selv. Høyre vil la private konkurrere med det offentlige om å gi oss de beste tjenestene til en lavest mulig pris.


2008/06/8 - Posted by | Policy

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