2024 Lampman Memorial Lecture: Susan Dynarski

At UW Madison, IRP:

2024 Lampman Memorial Lecture

Insights On Inequality In Education

Susan Dynarski
Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor of Education, Harvard University

The good news: college attendance is on the rise worldwide.
The bad news: class divides in education are also widening.

In this talk, Professor Dynarski explores troubling increases in inequality in educational attainment and achievement. Potential explanations are examined, as well as promising, evidence-based policies to shrink the divide.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024
4:00–5:15 p.m.
AT&T Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI 53706

Reception follows the lecture.

2 thoughts on “2024 Lampman Memorial Lecture: Susan Dynarski

  1. Macroduck

    “The good news: college attendance is on the rise worldwide.”
    “The bad news: class divides in education are also widening.”

    Peter Turchin, who took some of the tools of cliometrics and has put them to use in social sciences beyond economics, has recently taken a shot at publishing a book for nonspecialists. He examining cycles of political stability and collapse, under the unassuming title of “End Times”.

    Professor Turchin would take issue with the assumption that rising college attendance is good news, though I suspect he would agree completely that class divides are widening, since widening class divides are central to his thesis.

    I won’t presume to lay out entire argument here, but I’ll offer a slice. When elites succeed in drawing too much power and wealth to themselves, they create conditions in which there is an excess of aspiring elites; few are satsfied with getting on with regular life when “regular” seems harder and less secure every day, so more strive for elite status than can possibly achieve it. Many are disappointed in their hopes, and anti-social behavior becomes more common among aspirants. (Let us take a moment to ponder the financial sector. Or the GOP. Or Johnny.)

    A college education is the most commonly chosen path to elite economic status for aspirants. There are, however, diminishing returns to a college education, especially as the cost of that education rises. Most aspirants do not achieve elite status. Disappointed aspirations, in Turchin’s view, are destructive to political stability.

    By the way, Turchin introduces the notion of a “money pump” when discussing the enrichment of the elites. Expensive, debt-financed college education looks an awful lot like what he describes.

    I’m not arguing against education, but the corruption of education, turning a college degree into little more than professional accreditation at the hands of emisserated, under-paid elite aspirants, seems like a bad way to support intellectual excellence or democracy.

  2. Moses Herzog

    Moses is drinking now…… hope the lecture will be online or uploaded, Just as a kind of courtesy

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