Monday, March 24, 2008

Good Ted Rall cartoon

My take on this is that it's about the fact that contrary to what people say math and science have been pushed to the exclusion of nearly everything else in U.S. schools for the past two decades at least. English classes, by which is meant English language literature classes, are necessary because of the verbal portion of the SAT but beyond that you have stuff from music and art on out facing the chopping block because they're not perceived as essentials. And don't even talk about things like philosophy. We're one of the richest countries in the world but we're consciously looking to the educational systems of developing economies like Korea, with huge classes and authoritarian discipline, as models of what to emulate. You'd think that after a point it would be possible to spare enough money to give classes and knowledge that would actually enrich people's lives in a way not necessarily directly related to what they want to do as a career.

By the way, and this stat is several years out of date, my understanding was that although the engineering programs etc.. are having less enrollment it's business programs that are the boom industry in higher education, with almost a majority of kids coming into college planning on getting a business related degree. So it's not like we're frittering away education while Rome burns, but that kids want to be capitalists, which, well, do the math. Too many capitalists in training and not enough workers.

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