Should We Invest $10 billion ‘Peace Dividend’ in Education?

Monday, June 27, 2011

education, classroom, school, school supplies, class, teachers, students (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

As President Obama announced the draw-down of 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by September 2012, he said it was time for our country to focus on nation-building here at home. The troop reduction could save $10 billion next year, so we asked our listeners: what should we do with that windfall? Many of you told us to invest in education.


Tony Wagner is the Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and author of the book “The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need—and What We Can Do About It” He responds to listeners' comments, and tells us that the United States could do three simple things to radically improve education.


Tony Wagner

Produced by:

Duncan Wilson

Comments [3]

Rick Evans from Taxachusetts

We should spend billions on 'laboratory schools of innovation' according to Harvard's Tony Wagner? Oh, please. What do we have all those so called schools of education for?

Harvard has billions in its endowment why doesn't it set up a pilot school with a random sample of non self selected students from the 'hood and prove the methods that the Harvard school of education teaches.

Jun. 27 2011 09:31 AM
Ginsberg from Detroit

How exactly is cutting $10B of spending a windfall when the government is still running a deficit? We will simply be running less of a deficit, and if we spend that $10B it will be borrowed money. It's very misleading and imprudent to encourage a conversation fantasizing how we're going to spend this money -- we don't really have it!

Jun. 27 2011 09:30 AM

We are at peace now? That will be news to the Taliban and others in the Middle-East. Is this like the Peace Dividend we were still enjoying on September 10, 2001? We have no titanic debt to pay down? As the teacher unions start counting the money for "education" we seem to have already forgotten the lessons from recent history.

Jun. 27 2011 09:25 AM

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