A Gift for You: Why Education Matters

Dec 26, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Diane Ravitch, citing The New Republic's Leon Wieseltier, argues we need more than amateur do-it-yourself educators, and we need education for more than job preparation. "At a time when we hear hosannas to online learning," she writes, "home-schooling, inexperienced teachers, the business model of schooling, for-profit schools, and the commodification of education, this is bracing reading." In this she attracts the misplaced ire of defenders of home and alternative schooling, but while no doubt there are many excellent home-schoolers, there remains a significant issue of quality control. Interestingly, nobody is leaping to the defense of education as job preparation. The banks must be closed today.

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