We make this point all the time. It’s what’s essentially wrong with the arguments that come from Thomas Friedman and the World is Flat crowd.
Education does not work for everyone and it can’t be our only solution to inequality.
Some people just can’t be educated out of their circumstances. Humanity is beset with a capability gap which only evolution can undue. We need better solutions if we’re going to make the world a more equitable and just place.
If we really want to address issues of inequality and economic insecurity, there are a lot of other policies that we have to pursue besides or at least in addition to education policies, and that part of the debate has been totally lost. Raising the minimum wage, or providing a guaranteed income, which the last time we talked seriously about that was in the late 1960’s, increasing workers’ bargaining power, making tax policies more progressive—things like that are going to be much more effective at addressing inequality and economic security than education policies.
So we have this strange situation where we’re trying to address educational inequality while economic inequality is expanding in ways that make educational inequality even worse.