Fat, Dumb, and Happy

A billionaire philanthropist who has made educational reform his personal crusade has harsh words for American students and their parents. In a recent interview with Bloomberg.com news, Eli Broad places the blame on U.S. lackluster performance on nationwide complacency. He maintains that American parents fail to place the correct emphasis on their children’s education. Speaking bluntly, he stated, “The American people frankly have been over many, many years, to be blunt, fat, dumb and happy. . . If they want their children to compete with children in India, China or Korea, they better get them a far better education.”
His foundation will focus on helping to change state and national educational policies. He believes that the national government will have to play a bigger role in order to have standard curriculum. He also urges changes in the school year, teacher assignments to schools, and a realignment of school boards that do not address student achievement.
Joining him in calling for education reform is Nouriel Roubini, an influential economist, who believes, “Investing in education and technology would benefit the U.S. economy more than spending on housing.” Indeed, an article in this week’s The Economist backs up this assertion. “Many Americans lacking true upward mobility bought its trappings, such as a bigger house or better car. As a result American optimism has been pierced by doubt.”
The best gifts any parent can give her child are time, attention, and a high quality education. Surely, those intangibles will last much longer than material possessions.

Leave a Reply