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Students of the Great Depression

In a May 3rd New York Times Magazine article, David Leonhardt writes about the impact the depression in the early part of the 20th century had on education in the U.S. and tries to draw lessons for us today. Here’s a teaser:

“In her recent speech, [Melinda] Gates spent a few minutes praising the impressive tenacity of the community-college students she has met. She described one who napped in his car between a night shift and a morning class and another who juggled caring for her infant son with studying chemistry. Unfortunately, not all students can manage to be so tenacious and creative. Even more to the point, perhaps, the rest of us have not been, either. The policy makers, administrators and even voters whose decisions shape today’s colleges have come to see a job half-done as an acceptable outcome. Until that changes, it is hard to see how the country will have another great education surge.”

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