An economist for whom I have tremendous respect, Paul Krugman, recently wrote a New York Times article which put the debate over education into context. I found the article interesting as I prepare to speak at the National Black Law Students Association Convention with my colleague, Charles Ogletree at Harvard University.
I’ve been thinking a great deal about how to help our community understand the meaning and value of a good education (here are some of my thoughts on the matter if you’re interested). I’ve preached relentlessly that being well-educated is incredibly important for all of us, and that we should be willing to fight to the end to make sure our kids get what they need from our woefully inadequate school systems. At the same time, my recent appearance at the Black Achievers Banquet in Louisville, Ky led me to conclude that further discussion is necessary. I saw quite a few young people doing amazing things, but it’s my hope to help us all understand that an education is not simply a path to getting a job with some corporation that will have you doing meaningless work for your entire life. Sure, that can be part of the plan, but it can’t be the entire plan altogether.