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Friday, January 23, 2009

Wise choices?

To my mind, having studied history, the equation is simple: a strong economy is dependent on control of the latest technology, which relies on strong basic science, and requires a core of well-educated scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

The British education system of the 60's and 70's that served me so well was very pragmatic: identify the students with obvious ability and work ethic, and pay them to learn. It was a cruel, elitist pressure cooker, but it produced the best university graduates in the world.

It has been replaced by a more inclusive American model. Standards are down, and many students are now under a crushing debt burden.

Why exactly did we change it?


Sackerson said...

Because we thought we could afford to. Or maybe out of unreasoning hatred, e.g. Tony Crosland (1965): "If it's the last thing I do, I'm going to destroy every f***ing grammar school in England. And Wales and Northern Ireland". He was born in 1918, so it's not just the hippies that were self-indulgent idiots.

Anonymous said...

Because its success was resented.