Toby's Issues: Education
Properly used, education can be the single-most important factor, after having parents with money, in helping a child build a promising future for his/her/itself. It is a way to open doors to broad, new horizons, to build bridges with cultures around the world and in our own backyards, if we have them. However, education, when improperly used, can become a terrible burden for society and a quick path to a life of disappointment.
Yes, it is true that money should not be a barrier to higher education. And, really it isn't. Most people who have money go to good schools, but that doesn't make them smart. Most jobs don't require you to be that smart, anyway. I'm not talking about being a top-notch chemical engineer, or President of the United States, although I think the last eight years have shown you don't need to be a genius to get elected President. Acutally, GW Bush is a good case in point. Rich family, Yale Undergrad, Harvard MBA, dumb as a post. (Here's a question: who do you think is dumber: Bush, the woman who married him, the people who elected him, or the people who re-elected him?)
The top schools like to talk about this, that and the other, in terms of great education, but really these are playgrounds for rich kids, many of them about as gifted as GW Bush, to finish themselves socially and then go push papers at some huge law firm, or marry some paper-pusher at a huge law firm who will spend many dissatisfied years of his life trying to make partner.
Now, there are poor kids who are really smart, and they should get a good education. This is what good state schools are for, like our local CUNY system. The problem is, for every smart kid who wants an education, there are about 10 dumb ones who don't. They want to go to school and party like all the rich GW Bush types do at Harvard. But the CUNY schools don't have resources to deal with all the dead weight, the way they do at the nice private schools. The classes are too full, and there are way too many remedial classes.
My answer? Send all the dumb ones to Yale. If their professors and administrators are so smart and so much better than everybody else, they oughtta be up to the challenge.
And speaking of being up to the challenge, I am up to the challenge of being your next Mayor. See you at the polls!