Re: Education

From: Phil Goetz (
Date: Tue Oct 18 2005 - 10:28:47 MDT

--- Keith Mussenden <> wrote:

> I think that our current educational institutions i.e. community
> colleges, colleges and universities, etc are usurious in nature.We
> should decentralize and take the high cost out of education or else
> we find ourselves behind in technological growth.
> Anyone have suggestions in how education can be brought to higher
> standards in achievment, revolutionized and more ubiquitously spread
> through society?

I think that a key problem is the existence of ivy-league
institutions like Harvard and MIT. These places are basically
institutions to insure that the children of the wealthy can suck
up most of society's resources for their own education, and to
give them a leg up on everyone else in terms of contacts and
reputation. Contrary to popular belief, there are no academic
scholarships at most of the most-respected institutions, except
ROTC scholarships and minority scholarships.

It is grotesquely unfair that the universities that only the rich
can afford receive much, much more federal assistance than the
colleges for the poor. MIT receives $50,000 per year per student
in federal grant money (~$500,000,000/yr grants, ~10,000 students).

When colleges and universities hire new grads for faculty positions,
the primary factor they consider is what university they came from.
Likewise for undergrads applying for grad school.
Once you've attended a university that cost less than $30,000/yr
tuition, there's little chance you can ever get onto the academic
track and into a research position. So the ivy-league schools
make academia itself a hereditary institution.

I would like to see a study of the benefits to society of a dollar
spent at Harvard vs. a dollar spent at a community college. If
only there were a way of normalizing for the advantages that Harvard
students have going in in terms of eventually creating companies
that create GDP. It is true that MIT grads have founded a large
number of companies, but it's also true that they have rich friends,
a better awareness of the possibility of starting a company,
and they have (or at least did in the late 1990s when I often
visited there) venture capitalists coming to MIT and begging students
to take their money.

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005

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