The effective education of our youth is critical to America’s long term success for two particular reasons:
1. A free market society necessarily operates on the leading edge of the product life cycle, and 2. Education is the great opportunity equalizer for upward mobility.
Products are what make the world go ‘round.
And, theoretically, on a micro level they all have a life cycle that ends in obsolescence.
That end of life occurs in economic nature when a more attractive product is effectively marketed.
It was economist Herbert Spencer who coined the term, “survival of the fittest,” later picked up by Charles Darwin.
And, indeed, recent studies are showing that, just 14 months after their market introduction, iPads are beginning to replace PCs.
The global economy has settled on a very workable supply chain, where the West invents and markets, the East manufactures, followers commodify, and everyone consumes.
These are generalizations, of course. America’s craftsmanship will always generate high quality products.
But, our standard of life demands individual salaries that cannot be sustainably added to the price of large production run items, like electronics.
The earlier in the product life cycle that one works, the higher the salaries are. Scientists and inventors earn more than marketers, who earn more than assembly line workers.
America sets the standard for new products through our inventiveness. And only a culture based on life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness can sustain this role in the world.
We need to elevate our perception of educators.
They need to be professionals who inherently understand what industry will need in the next generation of employees, rtaher than just union flacks.
It no longer makes sense that a college degree alone would suffice as qualification to be a high school teacher.
The mission statement for our schools needs to be something like, “prepare for inventiveness.”
The early years are the right time for imparting core knowledge curricula.
But, our teens deserve more purposeful instruction.
Learning geography as an education standard is far too rote for an American high school student.
A teenager who dreams of a career in aerospace, for example, needs to understand geography in the context of orbits and chemistry in the context of energy efficiency.
I believe that industry, rather than universities, should serve as the primary source of educators for 6th grade and beyond.