No, Harold Levy doesn’t get it all right. He’s a former chancellor of schools in New York City, so even if he did manage to get most what he says right, there would be enough people on the other side of some issue to say he did not, that if I compliment him too effusively, someone will say I’m wrong.
Among the greater products of the United States of America — and Canada, let’s face it — is the grand array of nearly 4,000 colleges and universities that set the pace for education in the world. Our greatest export is education, the idea that education almost by itself can solve many great and vexing issues, the idea that education is a great democratic institution, and the education systems themselves, the methods of education used no matter how little backed by research.
Higher education makes up the better part of what we get right.
In an opposite-editorial page piece in the New York Times today Levy proposes some significant but eminently doable changes in how we work education in high schools and colleges. Maybe surprising to some, he has good things to say about the University of Phoenix and their $278 million advertising campaign, about high-pressure tactics to reduce truants, and about the GI Bill.