Education and Entitlement

I sent my wife a link to Joshua’s entry on offshoring. Julie’s a teacher so I thought she’d find the following interesting:

For the past twenty years, while a changing economy and technology have dictated that we should increase the level of education of the workforce, we have seen the educational achievement of working-age citizens decline.  We do have the world’s best advanced educational institutions, but the majority of advanced science and math degrees are awarded to foreign nationals.  Obviously, not everyone needs to be a science or math genius, but this is a competetive world economy and people who don’t have these skills are certainly not going to be in any position to push the frontiers and create the next industry segments as old ones mature and are taken over by low-cost providers.  One would think that a responsible government would be doing everything possible to increase the density of skilled people (including more competitive education, fast-track citizenship for skilled and highly-educated foreign workers) and stack the odds in our favor.  Instead, I get the impression that it’s easier for politicians to get votes by telling students “it’s not your fault that you are being out-competed, it’s really the fault of the corporations and the incumbents”.  Education is not a passive thing that happens to a student, and the more that students realize that their ultimate competitiveness lies within themselves, the more they will be prepared to push the value curve instead of falling for scarcity thinking — and ultimately that benefits everyone.

She did find it intersting, so she posted of her on experience of earning success vs. entitlement.

There seems to be a trend in allowing people to point fingers wherever they can but at themselves when it comes time to recon with the fact that we are the masters of our own destiny and education and successes. The deal is that many people believe in the “equality” phase our culture has cultivated. What I mean is, treating people in the most PC or Fair way has led many children to feel that they are owed something in their future. No one is owed a thing. We are lucky to live in a country where our rights are honored, to be sure, but believe me; we are not striving very hard as a culture to maintain our supremacy of success.

We are slowly becoming a nation of people who wield our sense of entitlement recklessly and at the cost of our own opportunity

I wish she’d come work for Microsoft’s learning business unit.


"One would think that a responsible government would be doing everything possible to increase the density of skilled people" It seems our gov't is doing everything it can to increase people's density. ;-)
I like that response. I sometimes come across as bing down on the whole educational system, but my point really is that a teacher can never *make* a student learn; teachers exist to give the *opportunity* to the students, and it's (for the most part) up to the students to take advantage of the opportunity. We still have the best opportunities for education in the world, but increasingly kids have other priorities and distractions.