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[Susan notes: This letter hits the nail on the head: The technocrats have won, reducing education to job skills. The government defines even pre-schoolers as future workers in the global economy and President Obama tells us that fast internet is what kids need. ]

Published in Wall Street Journal

To the editor

Re: Professors Are About to Get an Online Education:

Georgia Tech's new Internet master's degree in computer science is the future
. Mr. Kessler seems to assume that higher education is vocational, that it should be tooling students for jobs "designing new drugs, fracking for oil, writing mobile apps or marketing Pop Chips." There seems to be no place for the liberal arts in his argument. This is a serious deficiency, a kind of equivocation about the nature of higher education. Of course, it may account for his impatience with the Amherst and Duke faculties. He appears unequipped to understand their concern for education as something beyond the vocational. Moreover, if his view prevailed, then education "would aim," as Jacques Maritain said in 1943 in "Education at the Crossroads," "not at making man truly human, but making him merely into an organ of a technocratic society."


Prof. Richard Upsher Smith Jr

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