The Tribune news apps team has put together an easily searchable and pleasantly displayed way to see how any Illinois school is faring. By the way, I might never have known about it if not for one of the team posting it on Windy Citizen. Thanks again Joe.
Like a lot of people I’m sure, I promptly searched for the schools I attended and here are the results:
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – better than 90% of all schools in Illinois
JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL – better than 94% of all schools in Illinois
HIGH SCHOOL – better than 98% of all schools in Illinois
So you see, my schools actually improved as I went along. I should be happy, successful and brilliant, right? Yes, no and… I’ll leave that to others to judge.
If being happy is the most important thing in life, then I’m all set, but I hardly needed these top notch schools to achieve happiness. Plenty of people are happy who went to bad or mediocre schools. And by the way, my happiness is greatly tempered by the lack of professional success as I’ve entered the third decade of my life this past August, but I digress.
Time and time again we are told that a good education is the path to all that is good and wonderful in this world. It is the path to a good job, a solid career and a positive economic outlook, one that will enable us to hopefully get married, have children, buy a home, travel and do it all in style. These things are not untrue, but might not such an outlook place too much value on education and too little on other things? It’s time to start asking tough questions like: does everyone really need to go to college? Under the current economic conditions, will people with college degrees continue to make more money? Will this generation of Americans end up, for the first time in history, worse off than their parents? And how much of this can be blamed on the constant dictum we heard growing up, that a good education is the answer to everything. Is it really?
Just while writing this post, I gave a preview of it to someone who follows me on Twitter. I said the short version was that all my highfalutin education hasn’t amounted to much in practice. The response was: “join the club!” This reminded me of the title someone I know gave to their website. I could just tell you what it is, but it’ll be more fun if you click over to it yourself.
This is not strictly anecdotal. In a world in which even Master’s Degrees can be seen as poor economic investments, maybe we truly need to rethink the way we view education.
I could go on, but I’m more interested in what all of you think. Do you think the quality of education, after a certain point, is overvalued? Do you think your education has paid off?
Image credit: UniKeep