Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version

January 1975


Reprinted from The Enduring Effects of Education, by Herbert H. Hyman, Charles R. Wright, and John Shelton Reed (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975), pages 40-59.
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The domain of knowledge we have been able to examine by secondary analysis contained 250 discrete items of information requested in American national surveys between 1949 and 1971. Since the influence of education on each item (with a few exceptions) is examined separately for each of four age cohorts, our fundamental findings involve about a thousand sets of comparisons of knowledge among several educational levels. How to present such massive evidence creates a severe problem. Compression and condensation are essential if the reader is not to become submerged and finally drown in the ocean of data. In a letter to the New York Times, one poor soul who had waded through the Coleman report, survived then to read Jencks's work, only finally to confront the recent multi-volume report of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, put the problem poignantly: "The voice of reason is overwhelmed by the vast array of codified data" (9 June, 1973, p. 32).



Date Posted: 11 March 2008