Seriously, what role do you enivision folks in the lower 50, 33, or 25% of “capability” playing in today’s and tomorrow’s society? What should our educational, economic, and social systems do to assist the least-able members of our society do what?
I’m just finishing the book Real Education by Charles Murray. He accepts the view of different “intelligences,” and feels a 4-year college education only really suits those who excel in “academic” intelligence. He concludes that too many people go to college. And he criticizes NCLB, because he contends society will never be able to bring the least able kids up to the same level that best suits the more academically capable.
But what he hasn’t said yet (and I have only 30 pages to go!) is what is the most appropriate way to deal with the sizeable portion of any society that scores below average on ALL measures of intelligence. It is fine and dandy to say that a kid who has excellent spatial perception, but poor verbal skills, would be better suited for the trades than - say - middle management. But what about the kids who are below average in spatial perception AND verbal skills AND every other measure of intelligence. Heck, I can imagine things being pretty bleak for people who are only slightly above average in some of the areas of ability.
In the past, we always had unskilled physical labor, either on farms, in support of the trades, or in factories, where such people could support themselves and feel they were contributing in some meaningful manner. But what opportunities exist for such people today? How many WalMart greeters do we need?
And what resources should what institutions provide these folk to prepare them for what standard of living?