Monday, May 21, 2012

Presidential primary: Ivy League or bust!

Now that we know that either Obama or Romney will be President next year, we also know that, from 1989 through at least 2017, every President of the United States will have had a degree from either Harvard or Yale or, in the case of George W. Bush, both. That could be a three-decade accident, or it may be a sign of something lasting—the educational version of the inequality surge, elevating “one per cent” institutions far above the rest. 
Yep, Reagan was the last of the "99 percent" Presidents--however, I doubt whether the OWS folks will celebrate Reagan!  Anyway, Reagan graduated from Eureka College.  But, wait, while Eureka is no Ivy, it is not a relatively inexpensive state school either.

Perhaps Obama transferred out of Occidental to Columbia because he truly understood this aspect of an Ivy League education!

Anyway, that is from Nicholas Lehman's short essay in the New Yorker, in which he adds:
In higher education, the United States may be on its way to becoming more like the rest of the world, with a small group of schools controlling access to life membership in the élite. And higher education is becoming more like other areas of American life, with the fortunate few institutions distancing themselves ever further from the many. All those things which commencement speakers talk about—personal growth, critical-thinking skills, intellectual exploration, breadth of learning—will survive at the top institutions, but other colleges will come under increased pressure to adopt the model of trade schools.
Ahem, we have already strayed from education and become a bunch of trade schools!

With every passing day, the wisdom of the five-minute university grows more and more appealing :)

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