businessweeked0216A blurb in the latest print edition of Bloomberg Businessweek merits some attention.

There’s a long-running debate over what matters more — formal learning or learning on the job. On math tests, American teens perform worse than Danes. Latvians, and Koreans. But how much does that matter?

“Education is not a panacea.” So argues Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel-winning economist at Columbia. He says societies need to emphasize lifelong learning, not just school.

An article in the Jan. 22 issue of the journal Science finds that formal education does lift growth — as long as students really learn something. The mistake is to focus on years of schooling.