I’m a huge fan of high-quality liberal-arts education for everybody and really do think it would go far to prepare better citizens, neighbors, and consumer/transmitters of America’s cultural heritage and democratic underpinnings. I’m also an acolyte of E.D. Hirsch and his core point that everyone—especially poor kids—needs to be culturally literate as well as equipped with the 3 R’s (though he emphasizes that his focus is K-8, not high school).
That said, I’m also becoming convinced that the future of our economy and the acquisition of good jobs will hinge as much on well-developed technical prowess as on Aristotle, Shakespeare, Darwin, Rembrandt, and Mozart.
Recent weeks have brought multiple reports of U.S. jobs going unfilled, or being outsourced to distant lands, because too few American workers have the requisite skills to perform them well.