Tag Archives: Joann Jacobs

I'm Sure Glad Cars Aren't Produced Using the Education System Model

While comparing education to cars isn’t a perfect fit, there is a lot to be learned from the comparison. As a thought experiment, the Cato Institute’s Andrew Coulson examines the change in costs and productivity in America’s education system and applies it to the automotive world (H/T Joanne Jacobs): What would the U.S. automobile industry look like if it were run the same way, and had suffered the same productivity collapse, as public schooling? To the left is a 1971 Chevrolet Impala. According to the New York Times of September 25th, 1970, it originally sold for $3,460. That’s $19,011 in today’s dollars. If cars were like public schools, you would be compelled to buy one of these today, and to pay $43,479 for that privilege (2.3 times the original price). To measure productivity in education this way assumes that the students being taught today are no more or less challenging than the students being taught in 1970. If they are harder to teach, higher costs would be required to maintain the same output. If they are easier to teach, less would be required. (At least that’s what the Education Policy Center people tell me … I’m not that hard to […]