Comments on the President’s Speech to Students
Brian Moore explains how the president’s remarks to students about personal responsibility call attention to the public school system’s shortcomings:
But the problem is […] education is not just about how hard you work, or how responsible you are, or how responsible your parents are. Well, to be fair, right now it is — because the educational system is doing such a bad job, the only variables left are how hard you self-educate, and to what extent your parents can teach you, or purchase extra teaching for you. Which is why life success is so correlated to those things. But this is not how it should be.
The entire point of a public education system is to give those who don’t have those pre-conditions for success a chance — and ours is failing precisely those people.
No one could object to a message of “Work hard.” Still, it’s disconcerting how singularly student outcomes depend on heroic individual effort, when we’re all paying taxes for schools that are supposed to give disadvantaged students opportunities they wouldn’t find on their own.