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Comment: Resource allocation (Score 1) 1114

by tfried (#23854703) Attached to: Helping Some Students May Harm High Achievers

Well, duh, indeed. If resources are limited, overall, putting more focus on one thing, means taking it away from other things. Pretty bloody obivous. If increasing total resources is not an option, it quite simply comes down to allocating the resources, to setting priorities. So is it a good decision to focus more on the "problem" students?

Well, that's the core of the debate, of course, but personally, I think, yes, it makes sense to shift the focus of education more towards the lower end. The most important reason is that domestic demand for mindless drone workers has decreased over the past two or three decades, dramatically. Those jobs - to a large degree - have either been outsourced or automated. "Producing" lots of people with real low qualifications means "producing" people who will never have a true economic perspective, ever. It means producing people who are - as harsh as that sounds - quite simply useless in domestic economy. Go figure, whether and how that is a problem.

On the other side of the equation, you can't ever have too many top-notch academics. But: I think we're really doing very well in that playing field, already. In some areas of expertise, we're even over-producing highly qualified individuals (who will later take a job in an entirely different field). Cutting back in that area is going to hurt, no doubt about that. But, I think it's going to hurt less than neglecting the severe problem we're facing on the "low" end of education.

So, yes, I think it absolutely makes sense to shift resource allocation towards the low end a bit. The upper end will suffer, but it will still be doing fine enough, overall.

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