Education: The Upper 10%

The superintendent of schools in a New England industrial town not long ago began to worry about the small number of his students who continued on to college. The superintendent asked one of his brightest students why he was going to work instead. Said the boy, with startling directness: "You went on to college, and look what happened to you! I'm going into a factory and really make some money."

To Harvard President James Bryant Conant, who told the story last week, the boy's philosophy is a justified kick in the pants for most U.S. educators. They have been so busy tailoring...

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