Monday, February 28, 2011

Superwoman Was Already Here

By Daniel C. Petter-Lipstein. This post originally appeared on Kate Fridkis's blog Un-schooled.

Superwoman was already here.

And she gave us a superb educational model to end the “Race to Nowhere.”

Her name was Dr. Maria Montessori and in the first half of the 20th century she pioneered and refined the Montessori method of education. Today, there are over 17,000 Montessori schools worldwide including thousands of preschools in the USA and hundreds of Montessori schools in the U.S. at the K-8 level.

My children go to a private Jewish Montessori school in New Jersey called Yeshivat Netivot Montessori. After five years as a parent at Netivot, I now believe quite deeply that it is a national tragedy that Montessori is largely deemed to be an educational option only for privileged kids from families that can afford tuition at a progressive private school.

Millions more American children deserve access to a Montessori education.

There are about 350 public Montessori schools in the United States, a number that is shamefully small.

I am not writing to explain, “What is Montessori?” There are several good books, lots of internet videos and numerous websites to answer that question.

But I do want to offer three reasons* Why I love Montessori and believe that millions more American children could benefit from this extraordinary approach to teaching and learning:

1. Curiosity

In a Montessori classroom, questions matter more than answers and a child’s natural curiosity is welcomed, not shunned.

Newsweek ran an article last summer about America’s “creativity crisis” with this striking paragraph (emphasis mine):

“Preschool children, on average, ask their parents about 100 questions a day. Why, why, why—sometimes parents just wish it’d stop. Tragically, it does stop. By middle school they’ve pretty much stopped asking. It’s no coincidence that this same time is when student motivation and engagement plummet. They didn’t stop asking questions because they lost interest: it’s the other way around. They lost interest because they stopped asking questions.

(some kids getting all Montessori with shapes. source)

In a Montessori school, this dynamic does not happen because teachers “follow the child” and are always encouraging the kids to ask questions. The Montessori method cares far more about the inquiry process and less about the results of those inquiries, believing that children will eventually master–with the guidance of their teachers and the engaged use of the hands-on Montessori materials which control for error–the expected answers and results that are the focus of most traditional classroom activity.

My daughter’s lower elementary teacher (Montessori classes are typically multi-age, lower elementary is grades 1-3 together) recently told me that a few kids in her classroom were learning about the triangle and they asked “Can a triangle have more or less than 180 degrees?” In classic Montessori style, the teacher turned the question back on them and said, “Use the hands-on geometric materials and try and make an actual triangle that is more or less than 180 degrees.” So the children have their question honored and arrive at the proper answer by themselves.

This story also highlights the role of a teacher in a Montessori classroom as being a “guide on the side” rather than the “sage on the stage.”

(can you believe that I found this on the internet? source)

In a world where the amount of information is doubling every 2.5 years (with much of it available at the click of a mouse) and where the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not even exist in 2004, encouraging kids to ask good questions and giving them life-long tools to investigate those questions is far more important than instructing them on how to produce correct responses. Even if those answers require some level of complexity, they are generally still straight-forward and predictable, which hardly prepares them for a world whose path is increasingly winding and unknown.

The culture of inquiry that is the hallmark of a good Montessori school is also a critical foundation for the creativity and innovation that America will need to compete in the 21st century. In December 2009, the Harvard Business Review published an article called, “The Innovator’s DNA” based on a six-year study of 3,000 creative executives including visionaries likeApple’s Steve Jobs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Ebay’s Pierre Omidyar and Meg Whitman, and P&G’s A.G. Lafley. In an accompanying interview (with two of the three authors of the study) entitled How Do Innovators Think?”, one of the professors that conducted the study noted (emphasis mine)

“We also believe that the most innovative entrepreneurs were very lucky to have been raised in an atmosphere where inquisitiveness was encouraged. We were struck by the stories they told about being sustained by people who cared about experimentation and exploration. Sometimes these people were relatives, but sometimes they were neighbors, teachers or other influential adults. A number of the innovative entrepreneurs also went to Montessori schools, where they learned to follow their curiosity. To paraphrase the famous Apple ad campaign, innovators not only learned early on to think different, they act different (and even talk different).”

2. No Homework

(source)

Many parents ask themselves, “If my child is spending six, seven or eight hours in school, why does she get so much homework?” If she were alive today, Dr. Maria Montessori would definitely be asking the same question.

My children do not have any daily homework at their Montessori school. While this varies at Montessori schools, most Montessori schools do not give kids any kind of daily homework. They may have research projects or long-term book reports (as do the students at my daughters’ Jewish Montessori school), but no daily homework.

The effectiveness of the Montessori approach usually obviates the need for homework. As one father in our school noted to me, “My 7 year-old was in a traditional school last year and he learns more in a day at this Montessori school than he did in a month at his regular school.” Since children in a high-quality Montessori school learn mostly by doing and by using as many of their senses as possible, in-school time is extremely productive and there is little or no requirement for homework to review and/or build upon their daily in-school lessons.

Without the crushing burden of homework that most American kids face each night, kids in a Montessori school are free to do whatever they like after school: play outside, watch TV, read, participate in sports, etc. The daily emotional battles over homework that most parents know all too well are also largely eliminated.

And homework is a waste of time. The research has shown consistently that homework at the grade school level has virtually no correlation with academic achievement. See this article from Time magazine which summarizes the leading research.

3. Calm and Peaceful Classroom Environment

Good Montessori classrooms have a sense of calm and order that is amazing; a setting where all kids are consistently engaged throughout the day in activities that they find meaningful and fun. We are starting to fully grasp how critical this type of environment is for learning and development, regardless of age. In the past three decades, there has been an explosion of important research that documents the connections between stress levels and the ability of a person to function and thrive, whether it be at home, work or school.

In a wonderful new book called “Brain Rules for Baby” by Dr. John Medina, a brain scientist, some of this research is examined and explored. Dr Medina, in a chapter on how to raise a smart child writes:

First, I need to correct a misconception. Many well-meaning moms and dads think their child’s brain is interested in learning. That is not accurate. The brain is not interested in learning. The brain is interested in surviving. Every ability in our intellectual tool kit was engineered to escape extinction. Learning exists only to serve the requirements of this primal goal. It is a happy coincidence that our intellectual tools can do double duty in the classroom, conferring on us the ability to create spreadsheets and speak French. But that’s not the brain’s day job. That is an incidental byproduct of a much deeper force: the gnawing, clawing desire to live to the next day. We do not survive so that we can learn. We learn so that we can survive.

This overarching goal predicts many things, and here’s the most important: If you want a well-educated child, you must create an environment of safety. When the brain’s safety needs are met, it will allow its neurons to moonlight in algebra classes. When safety needs are not met, algebra goes out the window. Roosevelt’s dad held him first, which made his son feel safe, which meant the future president could luxuriate in geography.”

In Montessori classrooms, the methodology of engaging with children, the approach of the teachers and the way those teachers are trained all help build and foster this environment of safety where children can learn and flourish.

CONCLUSION

My commitment to my Jewish identity means that my kids need to go to a Jewish school so they can learn deeply about Judaism and their Jewish heritage. Every day I wake up grateful that an awesome Jewish Montessori school exists five minutes from my house in New Jersey.
But I am also an American who loves his country and cares deeply about all her children and their future, which of course will largely determine America’s future.

Our public education system needs radical transformation. Every child has gifts and talents that should be nurtured and we are wasting vast oceans of human ability and potential with our current system.
There are no silver bullets and I do not want to suggest that if every child went to a Montessori school, all of our educational challenges would be solved. Not every child is right for a Montessori school and Montessori is not right for every child.

But Montessori can be a great educational experience for many, many more American children and I urge all parents to spend two hours visiting a high-quality Montessori school, one that is certified by either the American Montessori Society (AMS) or Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)-USA.

There are an increasing number of public and charter Montessori schools. If your children do not live near one, then organize with other parents to demand that this approach be offered as an option in your school district. Get in touch with people from other cities who have found a way to provide this option to their children in a public school setting.

Superwoman arrived over 100 years ago and showed us how extraordinary school can be for all types of children. It is up to all of us to carry on her legacy and work. America’s children deserve nothing less.

(source)

* * *
Daniel C. Petter-Lipstein is the father of three children that thrive at Yeshivat Netivot Montessori, a Jewish Montessori school in NJ. He graduated from Harvard College and Columbia Law School and after a decade still finds satisfaction as a lawyer, though he sometimes wishes he could just take a month off and audit his daughters’ 4-6th grade upper elementary class where they are learning concepts like stellar nucleosynthesis and studying the history of marbles and creating their own marble games.

Additional notes from Daniel: The views and opinions expressed in this article are entirely my own. Not a single phrase, word or comma of this article was reviewed or approved by Yeshivat Netivot Montessori, AMS, AMI-USA or the Montessori Doughnut Plaza I plan to open in Laughing Waters, NY when I retire.

This article is dedicated in gratitude to Trevor Eissler, Montessori Dad and author of Montessori Madness, the best introduction and overview of Montessori available today (in my humble opinion). Thank you Trevor, for teaching me to embrace and cultivate my passion as a Montessori Dad.

*These are not the only three, just the ones that came together in my head as I wrote this article. There are dozens more, but Kate asked for an article/blog post, not a treatise, and she is my friend, so I listen to her.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What's Popular This Week on The Innovative Educator

Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on The Innovative Educator blog this week.  Below are my top weekly posts along with the number of pageviews in the past 7 days.
 
Gary Stager Finally Shares Why He Thinks Interactive Whiteboards Suck
Feb 23, 2011, 17 comments 742 Pageviews
Skype in the Classroom: Using Skype to Bring Education to Life
Feb 22, 2011, 4 comments 466 Pageviews
The Ten No Nos of Teaching with a Projector or Interactive Whiteboard
May 10, 2010, 26 comments 404 Pageviews
Educators Can Save Time When They Stop Reinventing the Wheel with OER
Dec 3, 2010, 13 comments 362 Pageviews
10 Ways Technology Supports 21st Century Learners in Being Self Directed
Jan 28, 2011, 8 comments 358 Pageviews
Cure ADHD without Drugs with These Resources from Doctors, Educators & Parents
Feb 5, 2011, 19 comments 275 Pageviews
All A-bored - Why School is Like Taking A Train to...
Feb 24, 2011, 7 comments 272 Pageviews
Empowered Parents Are The Solution to Ending This "Race to Nowhere"
Feb 22, 2011, 3 comments 246 Pageviews
20 Ideas for Parents Sick of Waiting for Superman and Tired of the Race to Nowhere
Feb 21, 2011, 4 comments 233 Pageviews
Banned in School
Feb 18, 2011, 20 comments 214 Pageviews

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Getting into College Without Going to School

This post appeared originally on Un-schooled. Kate Fridkis also blogs at Eat the Damn Cake.

I don’t remember thinking about college very much as a teenager.

OK, I thought about it, but sort of in the way you might think about a doctor’s appointment that you scheduled a while in advance. I knew I’d go. It was the thing to do. But I didn’t have to sit around wondering what it would be like.


Getting into college is a lot of work for a lot of people. And not because they aren’t smart enough. Often, it’s because theyare smart. It’s always because college is defined as the gateway to successful adulthood.


(source)

Much, much later, in grad school at Columbia University, I was amazed by the stories students still told about their acceptances. Their deliverances, really. They felt as though their lives had been saved. They could breathe again. My friend Yelena, who was one of the people describing this incredible sensation, now works at Cosmo, but before that she wrote a blog called Ivy Leagued and Unemployed. She updates it even now.


Down in Brooklyn, an average apartmentful of NYU friends all work part time as servers in local restaurants. Everyone is not-so-secretly an artist.


I think maybe I cheated the system. I’m not sure (check out my post on how bad I am at cheating the system).


My mom and I put together a high school transcript through Clonlara, a service for homeschoolers that is good at helping us get into colleges that still have totally separate evaluations reserved especially for us.* I gave myself grades. I had no idea what my grades should be, but I thought I was pretty good at most of the stuff that I did, so I was liberal with the A’s.


Mom took it very seriously. She kept saying things about honesty and ethics. Dad thought I should definitely have a 4.0. Maybe higher. He said, “You’re making it all up, anyway.” He was laughing a lot. Mom said, “We’re not making it up. We’re just doing it differently.”

(source)

I applied to two places. Princeton and Rutgers. I auditioned separately for the music program at Mason Gross at Rutgers. I was planning to go to cantorial school after college, since I had already been leading services at my synagogue for years. But you couldn’t go to cantorial school without a college degree. It felt like four years for nothing, but I assumed I had to do it. I wanted to stay close to my job and my family near Princeton, NJ, so I didn’t even think to apply anywhere else.

I got a message from some tech people at Princeton. The application hadn’t gone through. They apologized for their glitchy system. It would be up and running in a few days. I thought that was hilarious. I told Dad, “It’s Princeton! Aren’t they supposed to be good at stuff over there?” I had been auditing classes at the university for a year or two, and I didn’t like it at all. The kids got into inane debates about the wording of the text, and they were always mentioning how their fathers worked at a big firm in the city. The professors were nice enough. The one black girl in the class looked uncomfortable, and when she spoke, everyone nodded politely and then moved on. They wouldn’t argue with her, like they did with everyone else.


“I don’t think I’ll resend it,” I said, of the lost application.

No one cared very much. Or at least they didn’t object very loudly.

And I went to Rutgers, where I learned to care a lot about these things. By the time I applied to grad school, I was pretty sure that if I didn’t get into the Ivy League, I was going to have a miserable life. I’d forgotten all about being a full-time cantor.

(source)

It’s funny, the things that people care about.


Maybe I cheated. I got into college without feeling like my life depended on it. Without pouring over school rankings and frantically trying to nudge my GPA ever slightly, slightly higher. Without missing the chance to do the things I actually cared about. I got into college with grades I may not have come close to deserving. With a pretend GPA. With an educational history that couldn’t translate into a transcript in any kind of real or meaningful way.


And despite all of that, I was academically successful in college.

The New York Times recently had a piece about how ill-prepared so many NYC high schoolers are for college. It feels ironic to me, how this is such a big issue. How a surprisingly large number of incoming college freshman can’t keep up academically in their new environment. How a surprisingly small number of high school seniors have a shot at a high ranked school. How it is just so very difficult for school to lead gracefully to college, when that seems to be the thing that school tries hardest to do.


To be fair, my mom cared a lot about my college education. She drove me to Bryn Mawr and Drew and Barnard and Rutgers and Princeton for campus tours and information sessions. She poured over college rankings and fun facts and matriculation rates. She probably knew which U.S. college campus featured the most squirrels and where students wore the highest number of Ugg boots. When I was fifteen, she took me to a fine arts’ college fair, where a representative from Pratt flipped through my portfolio and said, “We’d take you, but you’re fifteen. What are you doing here?”

Maybe we just wanted to see.


So Mom cared. But my life didn’t care. My life wasn’t geared toward college acceptance (read about how I missed the SAT the first time around). It was about doing interesting things that made me feel productive, smart, and satisfied. And nothing could convince me, after seventeen years of that, that the most important thing in the world was college.


Nothing did convince me. Except, eventually, for college itself.

(source)

*There’s more to the Clonlara process than what I’m describing. I vaguely remember having to try to count the hours I worked on a new painting for, so that I could add them to my “fine arts class” credit, or something like that. I always lost track, and my relationship with the program was extremely informal. You can read more about Clonlara here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The College Myth: Why College Isn't Worth The Cost For Many 21s Century Students

I wrote this piece for the Huffington Post. If you’d rather read it there, click here

If you are a kid or have a kid in school today, you know that preparing kids for college is just a way of life in schools. Forget the fact that some people have discovered it is a “Race to Nowhere” that leaves many children riddled with stress, anxiety, headaches, stomach pains, and in for some even suicide attempts.  Nevermind the dirty secret that a bachelor’s degree is beyond the reach of many students - Charles Murray, New York Times (2008) or that “The four-year college degree has come to cost too much and prove too little. In fact, it's now a bad deal for the average student, family, employer, professor and taxpayer” - Jack Hugh, Smart Money (2009). It’s what Forbes Magazine calls “The College Hoax,” which clearly outlines the faulty stats that mislead Americans to believe that a degree will result in higher earnings later on.  In the article Kathy Kristof reveals that higher education can be a financial disaster. Especially with the return on degrees down and student loan sharks on the prowl. 


While it is becoming more evident to disillusioned college grads who are victims of an unfolding education hoax on the middle class that's just as insidious, and nearly as sweeping, as the housing debacle, there is little thought given to the fact that we place kids in schools with a promise that if they do well in school and then in college, they’ll be rewarded with a life time of success and opportunity not otherwise available to them.  We need to start rethinking what we’re taking as a given in school today, because the reality is, we’re lying.  Our new crop of college grads, known today as generation debt because of the huge pile of debt attached to their diploma, have no real guarantee of a job.   In fact, what was true for the parents of today’s kids, isn’t true for them.  As a result, more and more often smart students and their parents are also beginning to understand that a college education is not what it’s cracked up to be.


The problem with college being the goal of school, is that we are assuming a degree is necessary for everyone regardless of their interests, talents, and passions and we rarely even bother helping students figure out what their passion is.  If we did, we might very well find college isn’t necessary to pursue their dreams.  You can be a famous chef with your own cooking show without college (Rachel Ray).  You can become a successful photographer to the rich and famous without college (My friend Amy).  You can be a dog whisperer with your own TV show and books (Caesar Millan).  You can work as a motion picture film editor without college (speak to Marco Torres). Some of the most successful business entrepreneurs never bothered getting college degrees. Multi-million/billionaires  Steve Jobs, Mary Kay Ash, Mark Zuckerberg, Ted Turner, Coco Chanel, Richard Branson, Debbie Fields, and David Geffen have no college diplomas to frame.  Shakespeare and Orwell are required reading for entering college, yet guess what? They didn’t get college degrees.  J.K. Rowling, the successful writer from the Harry Potter series didn’t bother with college either.  Florence Nightingale never attended school.  Perhaps most interesting is that revered diplomats like Prime Minister of Britain Winston Churchill also have no college degree.  Here in the U.S. we have at least four presidents who lead our country without having had the “college experience.”  


When I share this with others, I’m often met with the reaction that I’m taking extreme and unusual cases. 
The fact is they are not.  There are endless examples of successful people who let passion, not college lead them to success.  In fact on a more personal note, when I ask those of my generation (I was born in 1968) to think of their parents and grandparents, and other family and friends of the generation prior, they often realize many of them worked in successful careers without college.  This is the case for me.  My father become a successful Director of Photography popular sit coms and game shows  like “Who’s The Boss,” “Different Strokes,” “The Gong Show,” “The Dating Game,” and “The Newlywed Game.”  He often worked with my other father, a man passionate about music, who loved his career as a sound engineer on these shows as well as big shows like the “Academy Awards” and the “Grammys.”  My mother is passionate about her career as an entertainment business manager.  My best friend growing up had a father who was a big casting director for a major network.  All of them have no college degrees, no college debt, and achieved great success.


Sadly, we’re bringing up a generation of stressed out, over scheduled kids, who spend their days in school and nights in activities and doing homework with little to no time for themselves.  We’re telling them they’re doing all of this so they can attend a good college that’s worth all this investment in time now and debt later but they don’t even really know why they’re there.  Sure we say this will open doors and opportunities, but when they haven’t had a chance to determine what door they want to go through, it doesn’t really matter if it’s open.  And, unfortunately, many kids who picked a major unsure of what they really wanted, end up just being shoved through a door because they saw it open and were never even given time to explore the opportunities behind the other doors.  


When I speak with students, I often find they’re like Amy, Carlie,  Jessica and Maria blindly doing as they’re told so they can get into college, but they really have no idea what it is they’re interested in.  Some will say that’s what college is for, isn’t it? It’s a place to figure out what you’re interested in. That’s sure an expensive way to spend time for kids who don’t know what they’re interested in. Furthermore, why would we wait to college to start doing that? There are usually 17 or more years of learning prior to college.  Why not devote more time in those years allowing passion, not just data, to drive learning.  


The goal of school should not be college readiness. It should be supporting students in determining the lives they want to live when they leave school. Why aren’t they discovering what it is they want to be ready for and then if that requires college, sure, pursue a path that gets you ready for the area of study you are interested in.  This is not the same as everyone gets 3 years of math, science, English, and social studies in high school and all have to take the same test because it shouldn’t be one size fits all and it’s okay to pursue lives that never involve each of those subjects.  


Recently I was told we have to force kids to learn Algebra, trigonometry, and geometry because they will need it for college.  Really? Why would a lit, theater, or women’s studies major need that for college? Others have said if we don’t force kids to learn these subjects in high school they’ll never know what they’re interested in.  Okay, but by the time a kid reaches high school they’ve spent 8 years studying math, science, English, and social studies.  Students know what they’re interested in.  Ask them.  I HATE MATH. SOCIAL STUDIES IS MY FAVORITE SUBJECT.  I LOVE READING.  I WISH I HAD MORE TIME FOR ART (or dance, or photography, or music etc. etc.). Why not give students ownership over their learning and let high school be a time to discover and/or pursue passions?


It is not acceptable for children to spend 12 years of school graduating high school with little to no emphasis placed on knowing what you love and then matching what you love to what you do next.  Most students today have little time devoted toward exploring, discovering and developing their passions, talents, and interests.  They often get to college and have no idea what they should be pursuing.  Many students are like me who took a few classes then majored in the subject of the teacher I hit it off with only to learn upon graduation, this really had no connection to the career I ultimately pursued. In fact, if you look around and ask people what they went to college for, and the career they are in now, you’ll quickly realize that the degrees we pursued were unnecessary for many of us.  Even those who pursed the profession they attended college for often admit is was not the best preparation for their career.


The college business is big business. We need to begin questioning why it is we were really led to believe this is the goal and measure of success for high schools and they’re students.  Instead, I’d challenge schools to be measured by how well they spent the 12 years of K - 12 schooling helping children determine what they’re passions and dreams are and think about a plan to achieve it.  Some people will say, they can’t do this in K-12.  They’re too young to know what they want.  Really? How would we know when we don’t give them the chance.  The schools that do incorporate discovering passions know that children are ready, right from the start to begin discovering their passions and also that it doesn’t mean force feeding them a curriculum but rather letting them go far beyond the curriculum.  When you do, you get a school full of students like Armond McFadden. His school followed the Schoolwide Enrichment model from K - 8 which honors students talents, passions, and interests.  As a result he had a clear idea about the direction his life may be headed by the time he was in middle school.  He was also armed with the knowledge to pursue whatever passion he may desire.  


We tend to infantilize youth today.  Some will say it’s to keep younger people out of the workforce.  Some might say it’s because college is big business.  Some might say because today’s youth aren’t ready for the real world until they’re much old than prior generations. The reality is kids shouldn’t have to wait to adulthood to have the opportunity to do great real things and discover and develop passions. In this data driven age of schooling children, rarely have the chance to learn independently about things they choose. Historically people were empowered to explore their passions at the same ages today's students are disempowered to prep for the test.  


Here are some examples of what prior generations accomplished by age 13.

  • Pianist Mendelssohn performed his first original compositions.
  • Mary Leakey saw the famed Cro-Magnon caves in France and became dedicated to anthropology.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven became an assistant organist.
  • Country singer, songwriter and actress Dolly Parton made her first radio appearance.
  • Thomas A. Edison began performing electrical and mechanical experiments in his spare time.
  • Writer and general Carl von Clausewitz ("On War") joined the army at age 12.
  • Albert Einstein taught himself Euclidean geometry. He also dedicated himself to solving the riddle of the "huge world."
  • Filmmaker Steven Spielberg got his first movie camera and spent hours writing scripts, drawing storyboards and making movies of subjects such as head-on miniature train crashes and an exploding pressure cooker full of cherries jubilee.
  • Pablo Picasso was so skilled at drawing that his father handed over his own brushes and paints and gave up painting.
  • Jodie Foster wrote and directed a short movie, "Hands of Time," consisting of a series of shots of hands portraying life from cradle to grave.
  • French painter Renoir worked at a porcelain factory, painting flowers on dishware.
  • Mario Andretti began racing.
Will Richardson who understands that it’s okay if his kids don’t want to got to college, says it this way.  
More and more, all I want from my kids’ school is to help me identify what they love, what their strengths are, and then help them create their own paths to mastery of their passions. Stop spending so much time focusing on subjects or courses that “they need for college” but don’t interest them in the least. Help them become learners who will be able to find and make good use of the knowledge that they need when they need it, whether that means finding an answer online or taking a college course to deepen their understanding. And finally, prepare them to create their own credentials that will powerfully display their capabilities, passions and potentials.
When we allow students to explore their passions in school, upon graduation we may learn that some will choose a future that involves college.  Others may not.  Neither is better or preferable, and the reality today is that the kid who selects a path without college, may very well be better off from a financial and happiness standpoint, then the kid who went to the “good” college.
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