Universities voice progressive bromides, but they care mostly for the tenured and the technocrat, not the part-time lecturer and the indebted student. Thanks to soaring tuition, campus is now the haunt of the very wealthy, who can afford it, and the very poor, who are often exempted from it. The less romantic middle class goes $1 trillion into debt for high-interest student loans.
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I won’t hide my prejudices: I have a lot of qualms about the good American high school. Most good high schools now look to me like credential factories. They are production centers that kids check in to every day. The motivated, success- oriented students set to work from the moment of arrival, producing something, manufacturing something. And what they produce are credentials. High schools now are credential factories in overdrive.