The New School
By Dr. Glenn Reynolds
Available on Amazon.
The New School by Dr. Glenn Reynolds is his latest essay into the foray of education in America. Like his previous work "An Army off Davids" it is a forward-looking book that attempts to predict what lies in store for the future of America, this time in terms of education.
I personally enjoy reading Dr. Reynolds because he writes well. Even if you don't agree with what he's saying (or you find the topic boring) the man takes the time to be clear, succinct, but, most importantly, thought-provoking. Without fail he always manages to make an observation or have an epiphany that I didn't, rendering me envious and, dare I say, a bit "cheated" as if Seinfeld were to say "Newman!!!" And here Dr. Reynolds does not fail again.
Using a combination of personal insights of the education industry (he works there), charty goodness, clear and damning statistics, as well as geometric logic Dr. Reynolds makes a score of predictions and observations. Education at all levels (K-12, college, graduate school) is approaching the point that it no longer is a wise investment with a positive ROI. From law schools producing twice the number of graduates than there are jobs, to a quadrupling of administrative staff with a stagnance in teaching faculty, to a quadrupling of property taxes with no improvement in academic performance, Dr. Reynolds makes the case that education is a money-losing proposition. He also notes people are getting wise to the scam education has become. Enrollments are down for collegiate enrollment, law schools are suffering a 50% drop in the past two years, and home-schoolers are on the rise while public schools are the ones closing shop. He then projects these trends into possible outcomes with universities cutting all programs until all they have left is a diversity department, the trades trouncing the humanities, online courses replacing K-12 brick and mortar schools, and unemployable mothers with their masters in English deciding to stay home and rear and educate their own children. Naturally, he admits he does not know how it will all turn out in the end, but at least provides a framework or an outline how the education industry may evolve.
There's just one problem - he's incredibly idealistic, almost bordering naive in my humble opinion.
Understand Glenn Reynolds has something the vast majority of his professor, dean, chancellors, and K-12 peers don't - a soul.
Dr. Reynolds actually cares about education, cares about his students, and cares about the future. However, the vast majority of teaching staff today (K-college) are nowhere near as altruistic as he is. They first and foremost only care about themselves. They did not join the education industry for anything as noble as "the children" or "educating they future," as much as they did "summers off" and a morbid fear of math. They only care about making money, but they're so lazy rather than do something productive in the private sector they took the lazy man's way out and decided to "teach." Dr. Reynolds may disagree, but if there's any empirical proof to this it is the fact nearly 98% of college faculty religiously votes for socialism. Furthermore, all one has to do is look at the brainwashed, hate-filled, mindless zombies being graduated from the various "victim-studies degrees" programs and their equally hate-filled, racist and bigoted professors. The latest academian pablum of "privilege" and "CISgendered" not to mention outright calls for the killing of white males is proof this system is has been co-opted from an institution of education to one of politics and, like the equally evil Third Reich, needs to be completely destroyed.
Dr. Reynolds does admit there will be some political backlash. But I believe he completely underestimates this backlash thinking it will be pure economic reality that will simply override politics. In the end, yes, that will happen, because it has too. But it is in my opinion the millions of worthless individuals that are parasitically vested in education would rather destroy the country than give up their host. The adult-children protestors from the Wisconsin Public Schools who violently fought against Scott Walker's tame reforms are nothing compared to what the millions of students, millions of faculty members, and the millions of union members living off the university system will do when you force them to accept their true economic value is $0. You throw in the millions more students, faculty, and union members of the K-12 schools and reality be damned, they will hold the country and the parents' children hostage if they have to. ANYTHING to avoid real work.
Finally, Dr. Reynolds has way too much faith in parents and the modern population. Some parents do indeed care about their children. Some do indeed pay attention to the schools (some even paying extra for private schools, some staying home to school their kids). But most parents today are of my generation and they are just as greedy and self-centered as any other generation. They do NOT care about educating their kids as much as they do a government-financed daycare (no matter how craftily disguised as a "school") that allows them to jettison their kids as they pursue their careers. Throw on top of that that most people care more about Kim Kardashian than the federal (let alone local) budget and it really will have to be a Greek-like economic crisis that forces the education industry to reform, not a "great awakening" of parents who suddenly start homeschooling their kids en-masse.
This major disagreement, however, does not take away from the larger premise and points of the book.
Dr. Reynolds is right - the education industry is screwing over pretty much everybody.
Dr. Reynolds is right - people are getting wise and taking their money elsewhere.
Dr. Reynolds is right - online and home schooling will present a threat to the established cabal.
Dr. Reynolds is right - what is not sustainable will not continue on forever.
But the real reason to read this book (beyond the statistics, observations, predictions, etc., and what I personally liked most about it) is that Dr. Reynolds proves this evil and despicable industry is finally in decline. It is collapsing. The day is coming worthless professors will have to actually produce something of value to earn their keep in life (the segment where he talks about all the professors admitting there's something wrong alone is worth it). And if you're like me, a victim of worthless teachers, overhyped degree potential, and a constant barrage of socialist brainwashing from the country's most worthless profession, seeing them quake in their boots and get their upcoming due in slow motion is the epitome of enjoying the decline.