The Cult of Smart

In the latter half of the 20th century, the American economy changed. The job market for those without a college degree collapsed. Correspondingly, the cultural obsession with education grew, with more and more pressure falling on our young people to excel academically. The policy apparatus now saw education as the only tool to increase equality. But as the number of post-high school degrees expanded ever higher, working-age poverty barely fell, and inequality grew. Meanwhile the relentless pressure to succeed academically ran up against an immovable barrier: the fact that different individual students have profoundly different levels of baseline academic talent. The result is a system that leaves millions behind while telling them that it’s their own fault, and where our public school systems are under constant attack. Can we fix this? Can we create a more realistic, more equitable system? Can we destroy the Cult of Smart? In this talk, Dr. Fredrik deBoer will argue that we can and why we should.

This talk will be hosted on Zoom. For more information, please email Lucy Schwarz.

Event Contacts
Lucy Schwarz