39. is education a robbery?
one of our expectations about education is that it will pay off1 in terms of upward mobility. historically, the correlation between education and income has been strong. but in the early 1970 s a contradiction developed between education and the economy. our value of education and our average educational attainment outstripped the capacity of the economy to absorb the graduates. since the 1970 s, high-school graduates have experienced a striking decrease in earnings, making them the first generation since world warⅡ to face a lower standard of living than their parents had.
experts have argued that this contradiction is at the heart of the problem of public education today. it is not, as business leaders claim, that the schools are failing to properly educate students, that they are turning out2 young people who are inadequately prepared to function in the workplace . the real problem is a dearth of economic opportunities for students who are not continuing on to college .
college graduates also are having difficulty finding jobs. even when they do, the jobs may not be commensurate with3 their training and expectations. part of the problem is that too many young americans aspire to have professional jobs, making disappointment and frustration inevitable for some. many students assumed that what was true of an individu-al — that the higher the education, the better the job opportunities —would also be true for an entire society4. but when the numbers of better-educated young people became too great, the economy could no longer absorb them
another part of the problem is the assumption that greater educational attainment guarantees career advancement. in fact, employers do not routinely reward educational attainment; rather, they reward it only when they believe it will contribute to the employee ’s productivity.
we should not overlook the fact that there is still a strong correlation between education, occupation , and income . college graduates have a strong advantage over those with less education . but the payoff is neither as large nor as certain as it once was.
unfortunately, americans have focused so strongly on the economic payoff that many consider their college education useless if it does not yield a desirable, well-paying job. only in this sense can we speak of an“ oversupply”of college graduates. 5 we could argue that all or at least the majority of americans would profit by some degree because higher education can enable the individual to think more deeply, explore more widely, and enjoy a greater range of experiences.
Ⅰ. choose the be st answer to fill in the blanks :
1. in the eyes of the public , higher education can_______ in terms of obtaining a decent job.
a. pay back b. pay off c. pay out d. pay up
2. things_______ to be exactly as the professor had foreseen.
a. turned up b. turned on c. turned out d. turned over
3. he was satisfied with the salary that was_________ with his abilities.
a. familiar b. proportional c. content d. commensurate
Ⅱ. write these sentences in inverted order beginning ea ch one with the words in italics :
1. i realized what was happening only then. 2. there were piles of books, magazines and newspapers on the floor.
3. i have never heard such nonsense in all my life . 参考答案 Ⅰ. 1. b 2. c 3 . d Ⅱ. 1. only then did i realize what was happening. 2. on the floor were piles of books, magazines and newspapers. 3. never in all my life have i heard such nonsense .
我 们对教育的一个期望是它能帮我们在工作中获得晋升。历史上, 教育与收入的关系 十分密切。然而, 在20 世纪70 年代早期, 教育和经济之间产生了矛盾。我们对教育的重 视和平均受教育水平超过社会经济吸纳毕业生的能力水平。自20 世纪70 年代开始, 高中 毕业生的收入大幅度下降, 致使他们成为自二战以来生活水平比父辈低的第一代人。
专家们宣称, 这种矛盾是当今大众教育的核心问题所在。一些商界要人声称: 学校没 能教育好学生, 学校培养的年轻人对工作还没做好充分准备, 但事实并不是这样。真正的 问题是: 对那些没能继续到大学里深造的学生来说, 他们缺少工作机会。大学毕业生找工作也有困难。即使他们找到工作, 这份工作也可能与他们接受的培训 和工作期望值不相符。问题部分出在有太多的美国年轻人渴望获得一份专门职业, 这使许多 人不可避免地会产生失落感和挫败感。许多学生认为适用于个人的道理( 教育程度越 高, 工作机会就越好) 同样也适用于整个社会。但是, 如果获得良好教育的年轻人的数量过 于庞大的话, 国家经济就不能吸纳这么多人。
问题的另一方面是, 人们总是认为较高的教育程度能保证事业上的先进。事实上, 雇 主不会总是对高学历给予特殊关照。相反, 只有当雇主认为雇员所受的教育能帮助雇员提 高生产力的时候, 他们才会给予特别关照, 增加薪水。
我们不能忽视这样一个事实: 教育、职业和薪水之间仍然存在着密切的关系。大学毕 业生比起那些教育程度低的人还是有很强的竞争优势, 但回报既不会像从前那样丰厚, 也 不会像从前那样确定无疑。
不幸的是, 美国人特别注重经济回报, 以至于如果教育没能使人得到一份令人满意、薪 水丰厚的工作的话, 许多人就会认为大学教育毫无用处。也只有从这个意义上看, 我们才 能说大学毕业生“ 供过于求”。我们有理由认为, 所有美国人或至少大部分美国人都能或 多或少从大学教育中获益, 因为高等教育能使人更深入地思考, 进行更广泛的探索, 获得更 全面的体验。
教育投资和一般的交易不一样, 你如果花80 万元买套房子, 5 年后房子涨还是跌, 你 基本都能看得到。但校风、教育环境、学术视野等软性的东西, 很难在短时间里用金钱衡 量。“十年树木, 百年树人”, 如果只是从毕业后能挣多少钱作为评判大学价值的标准, 未 免显得有些狭隘。大学培养的不是工作机器, 而是一个全面的、高素质的、对社会有用的 人。
1. 赢利, 取得成功, 如: the effort pays off in the long run. ( 这种努力最终会有好结果的。) 本 文中是指“ 教育能帮助人们在工作中获得晋升。”
2. 制造, 培养出, 如: the school has turned out some first-rate scholars. ( 这所学校培养出了一 些一流的学者。)
3. 与⋯⋯相称, 如: her low salary is not commensurate with her abilities. ( 她的薪水很低, 与她 的能力不相称。)
4. 许多学生认为适用于个人的道理同样也适用于整个社会。be true of 的意思是“ 对⋯⋯ 适用, 符合”。
5. 只有从这个意义上看, 我们才能说大学毕业生“供过于求”。该句是倒装句。当“ only + 状语”位于句首时, 句子倒装。例如: only in this way can we learn english well. ( 只有这样 做, 我们才能学好英语。