ERIC Number: ED411311
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-26
An Economist's View of Educational Standards.
Levin, Henry M.
Much of the contention for establishing national educational standards rests on the assumption that such standards are required for a productive labor force and for economic productivity. However, this assumption has not been subjected to rigorous economic analysis. This paper briefly examines the evidence that does exist that links existing and projected educational standards and economic productivity. By educational standards, the discussion refers to specific knowledge or analytical requirements expected of students at each level of the educational system. In this spirit, the paper addresses what is known about the predictive validity of test score performance for worker productivity. It also asks about the impact of the "new standards" on economic outcomes. It is concluded that present evidence on the link between educational standards and worker productivity is extremely weak relative to the assertions made on the connection. In addition, given the low predictive validities of available measures, there is a potential for reducing national economic efficiency and fairness in employment selection, the very opposite of what reformers intended. (Contains 23 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).