Writing hyperbolically, Christopher Cross, a fellow with the Center for Education Policy, says China and India are using education as a “soft weapon” against the U.S.
Their goal is to produce legions of people with degrees, usually technical and scientific, who can encircle our meager forces in another few decades, consigning the U.S. economy to the second tier, and with it the standard of living for our children and grandchildren.
Our only effective defense is to greatly improve the quality and productivity of our own education system.
To do that, we need to close the achievement gap.
There has always been in American society a vein of anti-intellectualism, a belief that education is less important than luck, talent and the right connections. That, along with a belief that some children — usually those of color — could not make it in school has allowed us to make excuses for a system where the dropout rate for Black and Latino children is routinely 20 points or more higher than for white and Asian children.
I don’t care for the war rhetoric. A well-educated world surely is a better world for everyone. But it’s hard to see how the U.S. can thrive while writing off so many students as uneducable.