An article in the Tampa Bay Times, April 9, 2015, urges kids to stay in school. This seems like common sense advice, but what does it really mean? The author, Matt O’Brien of the Washington Post, makes the point that rocket scientists make more money than burger-flippers, and therefore kids should stay in school.
There is a basic flaw in his argument, however. As with many journalists and other “experts,” there is a complete denial of IQ, motivation, self-control, and other factors necessary to stay in school. What I think O’Brien means by staying in school is to work oneself into a graduate school program along with the other top 5% of students in the country. That ain’t easy, folks.
He then goes on to point out that wages for college grads have actually been falling. He says the top 1% all went to college but don’t make as much as they do because of it. There’s something more going on, he says. Yes, there is. What’s going on are the four legs of the elephant that show up in my research report, The Elephant in the Classroom. Concentration, self-control, IQ, and motivation are necessary but not sufficient to reach the top.
Certainly, kids should give their best effort in their academic studies. But the majority of students should not go to college and they will be happier and more secure by enrolling in career programs. We need to step up our career programs and cut out the nonsense about everyone going to college. Let’s get real, for a change.