"Every generation, civilization is invaded by barbarians. We call them children."
- Hannah Arendt
As most of my readers know, my wife’s a teacher of intellectually gifted children and she is phenomenal at what she does. Teacher of the Year, coach of a nationally competitive robotics team, highly competitive cheerleading coach, etc. If you were to assume that we read a lot, you would be correct. She loves historical fiction and I miss Tom Clancy’s writing more than I can express. Of course, we also read the “hard stuff” and have books on history, biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, physics, energy, and economics floating around. She and I spent a few minutes calculating the number of books that we have accumulated over the years…that now rest in her classroom and our home. Ten thousand. I know that sounds high, but we did the math and two people can do that over a few decades.
My wife and I love to learn and we value education. I believe most of us do.
That love of education explains why the nation was outraged when the WSJ broke the story of Lori Loughlin’s (of Full House fame) involvement in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal; and why it was outraged again when it read of the scandal in which 38 families in Illinois released guardianship of their children to other family members in order to game the system and receive more financial aid; and why the rage turned to fury upon hearing of the Jack Zhao scandal where he purchased the home of Harvard's fencing coach for more than $400,000 above the market price, sold it 15 months later for a $330,000 loss... but Jack’s son found himself on Harvard’s fencing team.
As ugly as those stories are, our higher education problems run much deeper than mere fraud. The good news is that it is within our power to bring sanity back to our higher education system. That said, old ways die hard…
"America is the most educated, unskilled nation on the planet."
- Mike Rowe
I like this time of year, particularly for kids entering their senior year of high school. They are excited to be at the end of this stage of their lives and look forward to college. I am excited too, but I’m also a little worried. My wife and I were the first people in our respective families to graduate from college. Things are much different for people going to college today.
When I started college, 23% of men in the country had a 4-year college degree. Contrast that with the reality that nearly 65% of today’s high school graduates go to college. If college degrees really differentiated one person from another thirty years ago, that “degree” of differentiation no longer exists.
Entrepreneur, financial guy, husband and father of two great kids.