Why Do More Women than Men Graduate College?

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USA Today throws down the following reason in a back-and-forth on the topic:

According to the most recent data from the Department of Education, only about three in every 10 boys who enter four-year colleges emerge four years later with a bachelor's degree, compared with four in every 10 girls….

Although university officials tend to point to inadequate preparation in high schools, the problems begin far earlier. In preschools, more boys than girls get booted for bad behavior. In elementary schools, boys slip behind girls in reading skills. In middle schools, the gender gap widens. By high school, girls are so far ahead the boys don't feel like playing catch-up. At that age, trying too hard is seen as uncool….

Poor motivation and lackluster academic backgrounds follow many boys into college, where they find a mostly unsupervised living environment. Plenty of time for drinking, chasing girls, staying up all night and playing poker and video games. Not a recipe for academic success….

Whole thing here.

Manhattan Institute stalwart and disliker of god talk in politics (scroll down) Heather Mac Donald responds thusly:

Here's a … suggestion for the alleged gender gap in education: Do nothing. Or rather, do nothing in the name of boys per se. If boys are lagging in undergraduate enrollment, it's up to them to study harder and stay more focused. They don't need the inevitable new consulting boondoggles in order to pull up their own bootstraps.

To be sure, there is a clear culprit in the boy shortage: feminized progressive education. Teacher education programs preach contempt for competition and fact-based learning; K-12 classrooms follow suit. When schools place more importance on group collaboration than on achievement of mastery in a subject, many boys are going to tune out.

But the costs of creating wall-to-wall victim groups outweigh the benefits of using boys' new victim status to overthrow progressive pedagogy. Let's get rid of the knowledge-crushing banalities of progressive education because it drags down all students' learning, not because it hurts boys.

Her bit here.

I don't doubt that ed schools suck–my friends who went through teacher certification programs both in college and afterwards stress the general uselessness of such coursework, averring six months of on-the-job training coupled with mastery of subject matter would be far better–but I'm also wary of invective against competition and "fact-based learning." I've got a 12-year-old son who has gone to two very different public schools and the one thing I can say is that he's been tested constantly on fact-based stuff (and skill-based stuff too). And while he's had to do some stupid group projects, they strike me as no different in kind or quantity than what I was put through 30-plus years ago in parochial school. Similarly, education in America has always been attacked as "feminine" at least since Brom Bones had his fun with the effete Ichabod Crane.

And a note about student learning being dragged down: That's not clear from the best long-term data, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which has been tracking student achievement since the early 1970s. Basically, students are performing about as well as they were back then (to be fair, they have not been doing that well for the entire span of the NAEP). Check out that data here. The main difference is that inflation-adjusted education costs have tripled or more over that timespan.

And which isn't to say that U.S. education isn't one of the most confining, annoying, and banal institutions going. As every other service industry develops more and more personalized and tailored offerings, it's way past time to, as we put in our December 2005 issue, to "Let a Thousand Choices Bloom" in education.

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  1. feminized progressive education

    Give me a break….

    More girls graduate because they:

    a)do not like videogames

    b)do not spend seven hours trying to dominate on Goldeneye the evening before their Tort finals.

  2. Another possible response to the “crisis”: So what? Men continue to make considerably more money than women, on average, for a wide variety of reasons. Our economy continues to purr along–low unemployment, continued gains in productivity, etc., etc.–under both Republicans and Democrats. Maybe there are more important things than book learning, eh?

  3. Why Do More Women than Men Graduate College?

    Because of the oppressive paternalistic society that seeks to supress women and their ambitions, subverting them to the will of the male-dominated culture.

    That’s why. Duh!

  4. Could it be because women are smarter?

  5. “To be sure, there is a clear culprit in the boy shortage: feminized progressive education. Teacher education programs preach contempt for competition and fact-based learning; K-12 classrooms follow suit. When schools place more importance on group collaboration than on achievement of mastery in a subject, many boys are going to tune out.”

    Grunt, scratch. Ugghhh, joe no like cooperation. joe want smash other student! Learning work with other people for girls! Ugghhh!!!

    I’m tired of seeing the same bogus justifications from every educational critic with a political ax to grind.

    To wit, the status quo isn’t working because of its political bias. We need to fix it to conform to my political bias. No, says the other side, it isn’t working because it’s been implemented poorly, and there aren’t enough resources. “Reformer” wins, scores fail to improve, “reformer” explains that her ideas really are right, and the reforms just aren’t working because they’re being implemented poorly and there aren’t enough resources.

  6. Mark,
    Maybe not smarter (IQ tests show the same mean), but the higher variance of male intelligence means there are more male idiots that are unable to cut it in college than female idiots. This may have an effect.

    Also, to add to your list. Men tend to binge drink more and spend more time chasing the opposite sex. Time sinks I am quite familiar with from my undergrad (and graduate) days that affect men at higher rates than women.

  7. To wit, the status quo isn’t working because of its political bias. We need to fix it to conform to my political bias.

    I know. Why don’t they just base graduation on arm-wrestling skills. That should put the boys, everywhere but Texas, back in front.

  8. The real victims of our ridiculous public schools are actually the girls… they trod along, getting A’s, getting praised for sitting quietly, asking dumb questions, and playing nice. All along, they think this cooperative behavior will translate into success in life later on… Well, fifteen years later and they’re all making $38K working in HR or Marketing. Meanwhile, the boys who couldn’t have cared less about the nonsense in school, who were hated by their teachers for daydreaming and disrupting class, who never learned to just sit still and be quiet, goddamn it – they’re all making six figures.

    And no, this is not a theoretical – this is my actual experience from an actual public school. The ten students who graduated 1-10 in class rank were all girls, and none of them has had any success in life after school. The kids who’ve ended up making a ton of money were all boys who drifting along, barely even noticing their own “education”.

  9. Men tend to binge drink more and spend more time chasing the opposite sex.

    Also true. I didn’t so much chase ladys, it was more the time I wasted try to stave off irrational erections by concentrating on an image of Mr Bean in my head rather than absorbing Pythagoras.

  10. Does the study treat all 4 year bachelor’s degrees as equal? My girlfriend has a bachelor’s in something called “peace studies.” She is unemployed.

    If they did a study that looked at say the top 5 degrees from which grads were employed within 90 days of graduation, I wonder if the disparity would be the same. It might, might not. I’m not against education just for education’s sake, but it was a luxury I couldn’t afford, I had to educate for employment.

    Would the numbers be the same if they looked at 4 year degrees within 5 years of enrollment? There are a lot of hours required in some degrees these days to get in in 4.

    I guess what I’m really saying is that I can think of a lot of reasons that the statistic they are using doesn’t really mean what they think it means.

  11. We in Fort Worth are proud of our ladies’wicked arm wrestling skills.

  12. My girlfriend has a bachelor’s in something called “peace studies.” She is unemployed.

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever read on this website.

  13. I imagine English, Education, and Sociology don’t really pay the bills, so more gals in fluff majors is a possibility. I suppose it stands to reason if there are more women graduating from college and fewer women in the sciences* there must be more women in the fluff departments.

    *And Econ, the number of hot chicks in an econ class is inversely proportionate to its level.

  14. joe’s post is a pretty good example of what happens when strawmen clash.

  15. “The main difference is that inflation-adjusted education costs have tripled or more over that timespan.”

    1. Is that the main difference? Seems like a gross oversimplification.

    2. Why is education more expensive? One major reason: the IEP, an individual learning contract with modifications aplenty for special ed students who are mainstreamed, by and large, into gen ed classes. (Its cousin, the 504 plan, is also implicated.) Also involved: standardized tests, the engine of “reform.” Some individual students require full-time one-on-one assistance. Even at $10 per hour, that’s not cheap.

    3. Vouchers seem great–until you think about the effect government vouchers have had on college education. Pell Grants and Stafford Loans have done nothing to stop (and, some researchers argue, have caused) huge increases in the cost of college education across the board. They’ve done little to increase access to top-tier schools for those who can’t already afford it. Why would primary or secondary schools work any differently?

  16. I had a similar thought to

    mike in ftw

    it seems to me that there have been an explosion in degrees in the last few decades.

    Feminist Studies
    Gender Studies
    Critical Media Studies
    Music Studies

    Although this will show my bias, I can’t really see the point of a lot of these.

    The people who I know who majored in them (at very good universities) almost all had to go to a graduate school (law, medicine, etc..) to develop more specific skills to get a job. Or are employed in very general fields that don’t require any specific training (non-profits, consulting, etc…).

    Hanging out and maturing for a few years is great, but if someone showed at my firm with a degree in “Critical Legal Gender Equity Studies”, that would have zero to negative impression in my view of their ability to do the job.

  17. Jim,

    In college I took some courses in the economics of education, and it seemed pretty clear that the main driver in increased costs for post-secondary education (at least at the elite universities) was increased demand.

    A much higher fraction of our population goes to college compared to prior generations, and the size of elite universities has not grown proportionately. With more students chasing fewer slots, the price universities charge has increased.

    This has primarily occured in what are considered the top universities, it is still quite possible to get a very affordable post-secondary education, you just might have to get it at a JC, or community college.

    As for the cost impact on vouchers on high-schools, I don’t believe the primary argument was around cost. The primary argument in favor of vouchers is that if I am paying for this schooling (through property taxes) I should get the choice of where the money is spent.

    But there is good reason to believe vouchers might reduce high-school education costs. College education (at least in America) can be seen as a relatively free market, with some public and private enterprises competing for dollars. Although this is certainly not a pure free market.

    High school and middle school, however, I believe would be characterized as a market of local monopolies, with a few private niche providers. Experience from other industries tell us that the break-up of monopolies tends to lead to lower prices, greater variety and higher quality.

  18. graduate college

    Do you people do this deliberatly, to inflame the passions of we pedants and purists who insist, in face of unrelenting popular usage, that one cannot ‘graduate college’ but rather must graduate FROM college?

    Do you? Hmm?

  19. The obvious, boring answer is that girls are just better at school–always have been–and that the graduation gap will inevitably reflect that given equal opportunity for girls and women.

  20. I’d say the main problem isn’t boys v. girls.

    I raised two daughters. The school solution for both of them involved an introduction to the subject through reading, an investigation of the general principles, then an application of those principles to the specific.

    My eldest did just fine. But my younger daughter didn’t, particularly at school age, learn that way. She had to understand all about a tree before she can see the forest. And to understand a tree she had to climb it, not read a description.

    It’s the Introvert/Extravert Intuitive/Sensing thing.

    As I teach adults I observe that women tend to favor the former, men the latter.

    The OSFA criticism of the U.S. educational system is dead on.

  21. Wasnt this answered in the Underground Chemistry post?

  22. Doctor Duck — if you really wanted to be a pedant, you would emphasize that a student neither “graduates” nor “graduates from,” but is, in fact, “graduated” by the institution.

    The student is the object that is graduated, not to the one doing the graduating.

    At least, that’s what it used to mean.

  23. I believe there is the opposite trend with higher degrees — there are more male graduate students, especially in the hard sciences and business. Look at the PhD graduation rates for things like medicine, engineering, computer science, etc.

    Women are graduating from college, but with degrees that will get them jobs as mid-level admin assistants and clerical workers for the most part.

  24. Isn’t part of the reason primary and secondary education, with declining quality of teachers, also due to the fact that women have more career options. Back in the day, the best employed females were secretaries, teachers, nurses and phone operators. Now the best women can go on to be doctors, lawyers and other well paying jobs. So in effect, the smartest women are going to bolt to better paying jobs than teaching, you have to pay more to get middling teachers in comparison to the past and it seems like we’re paying more for “nothing,” when we’re actually paying more due to greater competition in the employment market. So rising costs of teachers isn’t a market failure, but the market working as expected.

  25. Doctor Duck — if you really wanted to be a pedant

    Oh, I do, I do. Why would you doubt me? And a purist, don’t forget. And a poseur too, if I may.

    The student is the object that is graduated, not to the one doing the graduating.

    Well, we have this in common: we’re both arguing for usages that were deemed correct in a previous century. Yours in the 19th, and mine in the 20th.

  26. Madog-

    If I’m not mistaken, the majority of medical students are now women. Ditto for law. Not sure about MBA.

    For doctoral programs in science and engineering the ratio is still pretty lop-sided, but (1) I think it’s better in biology than the other sciences (and biologists can get sweet jobs at pharma companies) and (2) My anecdotal observation suggests that the proportion of women is higher in engineering than physics.

    Which makes sense: Women would rather break through glass ceilings and blaze new trails in fields where there’s a financial reward for going to all that trouble.

    Of course, everybody else has their own pet theory to explain the demographics of different advanced degree programs. Take mine with a bag of rock salt.

  27. thoreau,
    Let me tell you as an MBA student. Business schools, especially top ones, are sausage fests. They make MIT look like a women’s college.

  28. My anecdotal observation suggests that the proportion of women is higher in engineering than physics.

    Yeash. I’m not sure there’s a statistical difference between epsilon and zero thoreau.

    Mo,
    I’m not sure what you mean. How do they make MIT look like a woman’s college?

  29. “Yeash. I’m not sure there’s a statistical difference between epsilon and zero thoreau.”

    awesome. a little local non-satiation, anyone?

    ha ha.

  30. When I went to the ‘Tut, the M/F ratio was 60/40. Right now at ND (which according to statistics that I’ve seen is near, though slightly below average for top 25 schools), the M/F ratio is 80/20 in the MBA program. So there are almost 3 times as many women per male at MIT as there are in my MBA program.

    That’s why we outsource to undergrads and locals.

  31. oops, ‘Tut should be ‘Tute.

  32. mo, you wouldn’t be

    Mark Hinze

    would you?

  33. I believe a woman’s place is in the home.

    Thye should be instructed in the arts of cooking, cleaning and child rearing.

    Women, know your limits.

  34. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I’m starting to form the theory that education per se, much like parenting per se, doesn’t make much difference.

    The kids who want to learn do just fine in almost any environment where it is at least possible to learn. The kids who don’t want to learn don’t learn no matter where you put them.

    I don’t know that there is any public policy that can appreciably help kids rise above parents who are themselves dull and uninterested. Having a peer group that is motivated to learn may help, but even at that I wonder how much genetics plays a role in interest level.

    It is easy to get into college if you are poor and motivated. There is a lot of money out there, and there are a lot of schools out there predisposed to helping you out. There is almost no answer to apathy or hostility to learning.

  35. Mo
    60/40 at MIT really? I’m surprised, but my anecdotal experience is limited to undergrad and industry. Also, I’d like to know the breakdown in individual programs. Maybe all the women are poli-sci majors.

    My highly biased and personal view, is that very few women go into engineering, but the ones that do tend to be at the top of the class. They also don’t think the same. They wind up with the correct answer but I can’t follow their reasoning. Oh and also, under no circumstances would they ever date me.

  36. Warren,

    I also attended MIT as an undergrad (class of 2000) and actually it is pretty much 50/50 these days.

    As for majors, there are lots of women in Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, quite a few in Econ (my major), Management.

  37. Just to be clear,
    I graduated from RIT in 96

  38. While we’re all disclosing qualifications; I have a PHD in love-making.*

    *I have tried to use this line in a club. It didn’t work. And it should have, because she was UUUUuggggly.

  39. Warren,
    From their web page: “Women have attended MIT since 1871. In fall 2005, 1,765 women were enrolled as undergraduates (43 percent) and 1,785 as graduate students (29 percent).”

    So they’ve been coed since 9 years after they opened. From what I remembered, the major with the highest percentage of females was biology (largely premeds). The one with the most females in absolute numbers was comp sci/EE (granted that was the largest major by a country mile, so on a percentage basis it wasn’t so much). The Sloan school had a decent percentage as well, but there were so few students (50-60 a year when I was there), that it was a negligible part of the curriculum. For some reason most of the ladies I knew outside my major were Aero/Astro, but that could be an anomoly.

    Note: In the classes of 1997-2003, there was only one person who was solely a music major (some doubled up with a tech major) and he was a dude.

    lanny,
    I wouldn’t be what?

  40. …I didn’t so much chase ladys, it was more the time I wasted try to stave off irrational erections by concentrating on an image of Mr Bean in my head rather than absorbing Pythagoras.

    Comment by: Mark at June 1, 2006 09:41 AM

    are you saying that thinking about Pythagoras gave you erections?

  41. lanny,
    No shit. I graduated in 2000 as well. But I was course 15 (so go ahead and lay into me).

  42. Jason, I’m strongly inclined to agree with you. The success of primary education via an approach sometimes called “unschooling” supports your theory. (Unschooling consists of assisting kids as they pursue what interests them, without a fixed curriculum or formal lessons.)

    It also provides a path to home schooling for parents who feel that they “lack the background” to teach their kids — kids learn. Kids learn with or without a teacher bearing an advanced pedagogical degree.

    Kids learn about what interests them, in or out of school. There’s a good argument to be made that kids should be exposed to a wide array of disciplines, so as to give them the opportunity to see a range of potential interests, but I think that should be balanced so that you never, ever wind up shoving things down kids’ throats.

    Some kids are fascinated by subatomic physics (don’t laugh – I was); others find joy in the workings of a Chevy big-block. Still others get intrigued by the inner secrets of human language.

    The modern educational system is primarily a machine designed to turn out workers for an industrial model economy — rather than teaching inquiry and rewarding inquisitiveness, it stresses cooperation and conformity.

    Since we live in a post-industrial society, it would behoove us to approach education from a post-industrial standpoint, as well.

  43. “Now even though I went to college and dropped out of school quick
    I always had a Ph.D.: a Pretty Huge Dick”

  44. I hesitate to use the word “fluff” but I do think that choice of major could be a factor. Before working in the Defense Industry, I taught HS Physics and Trig. The “academic” courses like these are filled with the best students (i.e.: the quiet, obedient ones who showed up every day after school for help and re-tests) which basically meant girls. That was in stark contrast to the number of women in my college math, science, engineering, comp sci courses. Chance of meeting a girl: slim and none and slim was on lunch break or something. On the other hand, when I began teacher certification courses after I was hired as a teacher, there were very few guys in the room with me. Lots of women but not too many in tecnical fields, though. And, indeed, they were a pathetic waste of time. A year of OJT was more meaningful and gave new teachers a much better idea of what teaching was about – or they quit because the headaches weren’t worth the money.

    One thing that I learned as a teacher was that being a good student wasn’t anything close to the same thing as being smart (even though it was often the case that other teachers thought so). While effort and courtesy are admirable qualities, they don’t make abstract reasoning any more easy.

    While scientists and engineers comprise only 5% of the work force, it turns out that they create 50% of the US GDP (http://numericlife.blogspot.com/2005/12/
    scientist-engineers-and-gdp.html). It is only my small-world view but I still think that women are not encouraged to pursue work in technical fields. My own daughters (13 and 9) play with baby dolls and pretend to be teachers more than anything else. I do not believe that we have forced any of that on them. It’s just what they choose to do. I submit that that may be the most important variable in this whole process.

  45. Clean Hands/Jason

    You are very on the mark, although the best chance a child has for following his inclinations usually involves a mentor of some sort (sometimes they are teachers). This has been true since the dawn of time. Teaching is an old profession whose effective methods haven’t changed much in thousands of years.

    lannychiu
    “The primary argument in favor of vouchers is that if I am paying for this schooling (through property taxes) I should get the choice of where the money is spent.”

    This is also the primary argument in opposition to vouchers since property taxes are not only paid by parents, but by the community at large who should get a choice of where their money is spent (in most communities, your property tax only covers a small percentage of your child’s education unless you have LOTS of property). The consumer of public education is not really the child or the parent, but the community at large. For those who don’t want to participate, there are plenty of non-public educational choices.

    Public education only has a monopoly in small rural communities (if even there). The “I have to pay double” argument is encompassed by the above. Your taxes don’t pay for your child’s education, they pay to meet the community’s need for an educated citizenry. As a member of the community you benefit, even if you don’t have kids. At least that is the theory.

  46. Heather “95% of outstanding homicide warrants in LA are for illegal immigrants” MacDonald spouting off with inaccurate claims? Surely you jest.

    See http://www.rightwingnews.com/interviews/mac_donald.php for quote: “John Hawkins: Are illegal aliens committing a significant amount of crime in the United States? Could you elaborate on your answer?

    Heather Mac Donald: In Los Angeles, 95% of all outstanding warrants for homicide target illegal aliens, and over 60% of all outstanding felony warrants. Illegal aliens, and immigrants generally, are a major, and unacknowledged, driver of gang crime. Yet in most cities, the police are not allowed to arrest someone for an immigration felony. And in the country overall, there are only 2000 immigration agents who are responsible for arresting some 10 million illegal aliens. When someone, echoing the Wall Street Journal, argues that we need to give amnesty to illegal aliens because enforcement “hasn’t worked,” tell them: we have never tried enforcement, because our enforcement resources have always been dwarfed by the size of the problem. “

  47. mo,

    No worries, I was a course 14 so I don’t feel the need to lay into anybody.

    One of the guys in my fraternity’s nickname was Mo, and I was just wondering if you were him.

  48. What fraternity? I was Theta Xi.

  49. Mainstream Man,

    I think the issues you raise are valid, but point to the greater issue of the “Tyranny of the Majority”.

    I imagine that lots of property owners who don’t have kids in fact don’t want to pay for public education, but because some larger fraction of our population votes for these taxes they are forced to contribute.

    Basically if you can get 51% of the people to vote for something, you can call it a law and even say that is the will of the community. But I can still find those arguments dubious.

    As for the private options, given the current public school system w/o vouchers. The problem is not that other choices don’t exist, it is that you have already taken some of my budget and given it to the local school. What if I only had X dollars to spend on my kids education, and that has already been taken in property taxes.

    I could certainly go into debt but that doesn’t really seem a fair choice when my money has already been appropraited.

    Imagine it wasn’t schools, but something else like food, which is even more essential to life. The government takes out 10% of our income to pay for communal kitchens and this 10% represent the money most people have to pay for food.

    Now if you don’t want to eat at the government kitchen, you certainly have the choice not too, but your money is already gone.

    Further imagine that 51% of the people (let us say the less wealthy half) decide to levy the tax to pay for the kitchen against the wealther 49%, one could even make the claim that it is the “Will of the community”, but that also strikes me as a deeply unfair situation.

  50. I was in Phi Kappa Sigma

  51. “According to the most recent data from the Department of Education, only about three in every 10 boys who enter four-year colleges emerge four years later with a bachelor’s degree, compared with four in every 10 girls….”

    The way they set this up is a bit misleading, almost makes me think they are picking the statistics to support their cause. How about we look five and six years out, and see who has received a college diploma. I’d wager the gap isn’t very wide at all.

  52. I think about the example given above of the unemployed female friend with the “peace studies” degree (whatever the hell that is) and my nephew who got Ds and barely graduated high school but had hacked his X box by age 16 and went on to go to a community college and get some kind of network administrator certification and is now 21 and very well paid and wonder maybe if the issue is not that boys aren’t doing well in school but that schools are not teaching anything that is useful or in demand in the real world. I know those are only two anicdotes, but I suspect they are pretty typical.

  53. I think about the example given above of the unemployed female friend with the “peace studies” degree (whatever the hell that is) and my nephew who got Ds and barely graduated high school but had hacked his X box by age 16 and went on to go to a community college and get some kind of network administrator certification and is now 21 and very well paid and wonder maybe if the issue is not that boys aren’t doing well in school but that schools are not teaching anything that is useful or in demand in the real world. I know those are only two anicdotes, but I suspect they are pretty typical.

  54. No worries, I was a course 14 so I don’t feel the need to lay into anybody.

    Nerd dick measuring.

  55. …my friends who went through teacher certification programs both in college and afterwards stress the general uselessness of such coursework, averring six months of on-the-job training coupled with mastery of subject matter would be far better…

    But… but… then all those academics who teach education courses will have to get real jobs. Also, if we allow just ANYONE to become a teacher, then then educators can’t arrogantly parade around declaring that they are “professionals.”

    It’s like journalism. You can teach everything you need to know on news writing and reporting in 3 month tech school course, but the media gate keepers demand at least Masters degree from Columbia to even work as a stringer for a small town newspaper.

    “Professionalism” might be a good idea for doctors and lawyers, but for any other career, whether education or journalism, it’s just an ego trip designed to keep the “riff-raff” out.

  56. EDIT: …and reporting in a three month tech school course…

    Besides my lack of a Masters, bad copy editing is also why I didn’t cut it as a reporter.

  57. lannychiu
    Your points too are valid, but I think they address the larger question of whether public education is a good idea, rather than the utility of using vouchers and private schools as the mechanism for delivery of that public education. I think a more apt comparison to education than your public kitchen scenario is the current postal system. You can use the publicly funded postal system which is supported by your taxes, or you can choose to use the private carries that may offer a service benefit that differs on some important dimension that makes the extra cost worth it. So to make education closer to the postal system, you would need to make use of it voluntary (get rid of compulsary ed), and have users fees (tuition) for those that want to take advantage of it.

    And off scholarships for those with financial hardships.

  58. Mainstream Man,
    I think the last few years it wasn’t the case. But for decades the postal service was the only government agency, besides the IRS, to post a profit. So at least it justified its existence based on sales.

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