Historical Observations in a Time of Crisis
 Return to Proposed Education Manifesto 8/29/18

Applied to 21st Century America

John Adams


Winston Churchill


Benjamin Franklin

Milton Friedman

Alexander Hamilton

Thomas Jefferson

Abraham Lincoln



Ronald Reagan


Sun Tzu

George Washington



Treatment of Students

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don't stop." Confucius

"Do not train a child to learn by force of harshness; but direct them to it by what amused their minds so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each."

The better-performing students will be treated much as chess prodigies are today" ... The lesser-performing students will specialize in receiving motivation."  Tyler Owen, Average is Over  (2013) 198 See How Children Succeed by Paul Tough 2012

Academic Rigor

F.D.R. was neither an outstanding student nor athlete, but he entered enthusiastically into life at Groton and did well enough to go to Harvard in 1900. At Harvard he put much of his energy into his social life and extracurricular activities'  Source

"I have never let schooling interfere with my education" Mark Twain

"...often there is little or no payoff from having a little bit more..." Lester Thurow

Desired Result

The most important thing about education is appetite. Winston Churchill

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled."  Plutarch

The older I grow, the more I am convinced that there is no education which one can get from books and costly apparatus that is equal to that which can be gotten from contact with great men and women. Booker T. Washington

A Competitive World

Lawrence Summers, The Future of Work (2015)

"...the idea that you can just have better training and then there are all these jobs, all these places where there are shortages and we just need the trained people is fundamentally an evasion."  " The core problem is that there aren't enough jobs. If you help some people, you could help them get the jobs, but then someone else won't get the jobs. "


P. DruckerThe New Realities (1989) 236

"Delivering literacy--even on the high level appropriate to a knowledge society--will be an easier task than giving students the capacity and the knowledge to keep on learning, and the desire to do it."... "All it requires is to make learners achieve. All it requires is to focus on the strengths and talents of learners so that they excel in whatever it is they do well." " But schools do not do it. They focus instead on a learner's weaknesses."


Not all students need programming but they need to easily make the most of technology." Tyler Cowen, Average is Over(2013) technology. He sees educators as motivators and online managers rather than as a professor."
See VI. of
Tech-based education

Educational Change Abstract

10 P. Drucker emphasize what learners do well

2) A. Kohn homework doesn't help young students

3) T. Cowen best students special, motivate others

4) W. Antoniotti duration, continuation not speed

5) Harvard College 2013 courses about life

Investing in Education Abstract

P. Krugman increasing wage premium for higher education over

7) L. Thurow small payoff from little bit more education

8) F. Pryor and D. Schaffer poor graduates got low level jobs

9) C. Murray more investing in our best and brightest

10) A. Greenspan education reform will take many years

11)  James Heckman early childhood development reduce deficits, strengthens economy

Epilog "In 1914, John Alexander Smith, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford, addressed the first session of his two-year lecture course as follows: 'Gentlemen, you are now about to embark on a course of studies that (will) form a noble adventure…Let me make this clear to you. ..nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life – save only this – that if you work hard and intelligently, you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole purpose of education.'  ...quote reminds me of the famous Joan Robinson line: 'The purpose of studying economics is ...to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.' "