Peg Tyre, long-time investigative journalist for Newsweek, now doing a project with the New York Times and I were kicking around ideas on how to save
Even the students we already admit to college can't compete with Korea, China, etc-- It's tough for such students to argue that they're worth 300% more money (plus benefits) than Asians. Digging ever deeper into the barrel of high school students is certainly not the answer.
There is no magic answer. This is, as most experts believe,
1. The current cry is, "All students can learn to high standards." Who could argue with that?
Me. I'd much rather have all our students graduate from high school with skills in how to start and run a successful business, resolve conflicts wisely, have financial literacy, information literacy (how to use Google optimally, for example), and great parenting skills (so from Day One, their kids can get good parenting) even if they graduate without knowing quadratic equations, the halide series of chemical elements, and the causes of the Peloponnesian Wars.
2. We need less pluribus and more unum. In nearly every nation in the world, ethnocentrism has led to enmity. The term "assimilation" has acquired a bad name in this country. I think that's a grave error. We should be educating people to be world citizens, with our self-concept a function not of our national identity, race, class, gender, or sexual orientation, but the worthiness of our own actions.
3. Recognizing that money and consumerism really are roots of evil, and educating people that the life well-led usually means spending time less in the pursuit of money and more on doing good.
4. Changing how we select our leaders. All elections should be two weeks long and 100% publicly funded. That would encourage far wiser people to run for office (No four-year campaigns of pressing the flesh) and would avoid their being bought by special interests from the Right and the Left.
Besides, who says