Saturday, September 11, 2010

Higher Education

In the David Brooks New York Times column yesterday,
there was a very depressing statistic:  just over 50% of
male graduates of Harvard last year went to work as
financial consultants and over 40% of female Harvard
graduates did too.

If these numbers can be believed, they are very depressing
for two reasons:

1) they confirm how that higher education
    functions mainly as the servant of success;
2) they  show how conformist even the best
    educated minds are with such a large number
    of Harvard minds clustering around a single
    field of endeavor.

Perhaps it was ever thus.  Still the hope that
education would lead to the questioning of success
rather than the serving of it, and that it would
make the educated more independent minded, not
less so are ideas which retain their hold on
some of our imaginations.

The good news for parents who really care about
education is that they have less reason to care
if their kids get into these highly competitive
schools, seeing as rather than educating young
minds, the elite schools are rather just training
them to serve the financial sector.

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