Date of this Version
The presumed importance of formal education to good citizenship has been deeply imbedded in the theory and practice of democracy in America since the founding. Education provides the skills and knowledge for creating a productive, informed, and engaged citizenry. It is the great equalizer that helps level the economic, social, and political playing field. Survey research since the 1950s has provided consistent evidence of the value of education at the individual level. Indeed, in his 1972 essay, "Change in the American Electorate" (in Angus Campbell and Philip E. Converse, eds., The Human Meaning of Social Change), Philip E. Converse describes education as "the universal solvent," strongly and positively correlated with a host of valued civic attitudes and behaviors.
Date Posted: 11 January 2008