Several years ago, the president of Arizona State University, Michael Crow, gave a fiery speech to a group of area leaders. As head of the nation's largest public research university, he was well aware of the problems facing our society and particularly the educational system. In his speech, he did not mince his words.Recently, I was rereading his thoughts and it struck me: his unflinching assessment of the root causes of some of our most pressing problems as a country fits like a glove today.
Mr. Crow said, "A collective arrogant ignorance" holds the nation back. He cited the educational system that's not innovative enough, a lack of awareness or even acknowledgment, of global competition, and a lack of long-term vision. He said we, as a country, are resting on our laurels. "We don't understand ...the development of the rest of the world as competitors. He went on to say " we are the means by which solutions will be derived."
Turning to the educational system, he noted we should be comparing our educational system not with the schools across town, but "with schools internationally." He accused his fellow university presidents of being too focused on the elite students and not thinking of what's best for educating the entire country.