school kids india Paul Simpson/Flickr


伦敦—大约236年前,一位年轻的美国弗吉尼亚州州长打破了教育改革的常规。在《增进知识扩散法》(Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge)中,托马斯·杰斐逊呼吁建设一个“通用教学制度”,该制度应普及“从最富裕到最贫穷”的所有公民。这是美国公共教育制度创造的滥觞,而教育制度推动美国崛起成为全球最强国家。

到二十世纪初,美国已成为全球公共学校教育领先者。教育投资成为经济增长、就业创造和社会流动性增加的催化剂。克劳迪娅·戈丁(Claudia Goldin)和劳伦斯·卡茨(Lawrence Katz)指出,美国的教育“例外论”让其能够先发制人,领先在人力资本方面投资不足的欧洲国家。

本周,全球领导人将齐聚奥斯陆发展教育峰会(Oslo Summit on Education for Development),美国的经验教训无比重要。事实上,全球经济正日益向知识经济转变,一国人民的教育和技能对于保证国家未来的意义比以往任何时候都更加重大。不能建立包容性教育制度的国家将面临增长停滞、不平等性加剧以及失去世界贸易机会的风险。

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