Education: Less School

"With every decade, the length of schooling has increased, until a thoughtful person must ask whether society can conceive of no other way for youth to come into adulthood." So writes Sociologist James Coleman, chairman of the Panel on Youth of the President's Science Advisory Committee. Best known for his controversial 1966 study of minority schooling, Coleman, 47, is a longtime student of American youth. In a new report, he and his team of nine social scientists and educators recommend more work and less school for young Americans aged 14 to 24.

The trouble with school, argues Coleman, is that its focus...

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