Upward mobility requires education. Here’s how America falls short.


The only way I know how to end cycles of poverty
is by giving children, who happened to be born in poverty, which is never their fault,
a chance to get a great education. If we want to have upper mobility, if we want
to have a growing middle-class the only way I know how to do that is through education. And quite honestly these days Im starting
to worry about our democracy and our democracy fraying at the edges. And if were going to have a civically-engaged
citizenry, if were going to have an active participatory democracy, the only way I know
how to do that is through education. a the And we live now in a flat world, in
a globally competitive economy. And good jobs, high wage, high-skilled jobs
are going to go to the nation that does the best job of educating their citizens. And I desperately want those jobs to be here
in America and Id rather them of the year than in China or India or Singapore or wherever
else, South Korea wherever else you might talk about. For us to do that we as a nation have to embrace
the opportunity I would say the imperative of having a great, great education system. Where we are now today quite candidly isn’t
good enough. If you look at early childhood we ranked 30th
in terms of access to pre-K; its a dismal record. If you look at math and reading science scores
at the high school level we re somewhere usually between 15th and 30th internationally; you
look at college completion rate were about 16th. To sum all that up were top 10 in nothing. And while there are amazing bright spots,
theres stuff thats so inspiring that I traveled the country and was lucky enough to see every
day we have to get better faster and we have to do it with a real sense of urgency. Its a tough comment for me to make or tough
belief to have that too much of education involves lies. Well, let me just walk through a couple of
them: I tell the story early in the book of a young man I worked with named Calvin Williams
who was a rising senior who was a very good basketball player was on the B-honor roll
at his high school and wanted me to help prep him for the ACT so he could go to a division
one school to receive a basketball scholarship. And very quickly after we started working
I found out that he was functionally illiterate, he was really struggling with the basics. And that was just devastating to me because
this was a young man coming from a very tough environment never smoked, never drink, stayed
away from the gangs, wasn’t caught in violence, he played by all of our societal rules and
yet we collectively had let him down. He was not nearly prepared to take that next
step in his educational journey. That story is unfortunately all too often
true. A second lie is that we say we value education
but we never vote around education, we never hold politicians at any level, local, state,
federal accountable for increasing access to high-quality pre-K or raising high school
graduation rates or making college more accessible and affordable. And for me education should be the ultimate
bipartisan or non-partisan issue. I do care less left, right, Republican, Democrat,
I just want us as voters to vote on these issues. Third, we say we value teachers, but we don’t
pay them as professionals, we don’t train them as professionals, we don’t have career
ladders that make sense and teaching is some of the most important most challenging most
complex work imaginable. We trust literally our babies’ futures to
our nations teachers, but we don’t respect them and treat them and compensate them as
such. Then the final one and maybe the toughest
is the lie that we say we value our children. And Ive struggled with the issue of gun violence
all of my life. I was a teenager 12 13 14 I started to lose
friends to gun violence and candidly I think that shapes you and scars you in some very
difficult ways that are hard to talk about. And children and adults simply don’t die in
other nations like they do here with gun violence. We had staggeringly high rates and it doesn’t
happen in Australia where my wife is from or in Canada or in England or in Japan. So I listen to what people say but I pay a
lot more attention to what they do, to their actions, to their policies, to their budgets
and when we don’t vote on education, when we don’t truly value teachers and we don’t
keep our children safe and free from trauma and fear I question the reality of those words.

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65 Responses

  1. Just Some Bigfoot With Internet Access says:

    Good thing I'm not effect by most of these things out here in my woods

  2. Brains Applied - Unraveling The Human Mind says:

    My best guess before watching: their education is too expensive?

  3. Nick says:

    So how exactly YOU helped that young man ,mr.Greyhair?

  4. Skeptic Seeker says:

    Trickle down economics is the only way forward lul

  5. Barge Arse says:

    What is worse.
    You’re top ten in nothing, but you have access to everything!
    You’re actually more often somewhere between 30 and 15!
    No wonder Trump is President.

    Keep equating belief with facts America.
    Soon the only thing you will have is conspiracies.

    But hey. Betsy DeVos might make American education great again!!!!!!!

    Education is only one spoke in the wheel. There are too many things that are broken with the American system but won’t be fixed while people think change is offensive to the founding fathers.

  6. Avatar Mike Phantom says:

    Two major problems with education today:
    1) we don’t encourage recreational reading for people to learn on their own.
    2) we don’t look beyond universities for post secondary education. Community colleges are frowned upon, trade/tech schools are barely mentioned in high schools, and getting a certification isn’t seen as good as getting a bachelors degree, even though many people achieve happiness and high incomes with specialized alternative education.

  7. 𝕍𝕆𝕃𝔸𝕀ℝ𝔼 says:

    Wow

  8. Tom Small says:

    Not a single idea presented in this video.

    How about voucher programs? Hold SCHOOLS accountable for the performance of schools. Give the power back to the parents to choose which schools their kids go to. Make schools compete for students and for these vouchers.

    Instead he wants to blame voters and….gun violence?

  9. Mark N. says:

    Maybe just reduce the amount of paperwork for applying. That’s why I never went to college, they wanted me to sign all this shit. I was like I don’t have time for all this I gotta get to work.

  10. Sexy Ninja Mosh Pit says:

    The US is top 10 in something! Obesity and mass shootings

  11. OCASM says:

    Want quality education? Get rid of public education.

  12. manboob5000 says:

    Perhaps instead of emphasizing a politician to voter educational relationship, we emphasize a parent to teacher educational relationship.

  13. Keenan Smith says:

    Eh disagree, he who creates the most value in their country can disregard whether this involves going to school or not. Naturally because of how the United State's laws are designed, it enables more entrepreneurs from any country without an education to become something amazing.

  14. krollic says:

    Most people who live in poverty are low-iq, and thus their children are too. Trying to "educate" them doesn't make them any smarter. We've seen how throwing billions upon billions of dollars at the black education problem has barely helped at all.

  15. DEL J says:

    Upward mobility does NOT require any formal education. This guy is disturbingly misinformed about both education and economics. "The only way I know how to end cycles of poverty is by giving children born in poverty… a chance to get a good education." Then he doesn't know very much and shouldn't be presenting his ideas to the public. Seriously, that's crazy. It's a fact that formal education doesn't improve function or intelligence, and it's a fact that function and intelligence matter more to work than formal education. Formal education is a waste of time. It would be better to just allow children to work, rather than wasting time in school.

    He also seems to underestimate the class mobility in the US, as well as misunderstand the economics of job locations. Jobs aren't finite. This is all just within his first minute of speaking. Whatever his conclusions are, his premises are flawed.

  16. Massimo O'Kissed says:

    I'm sure Betsy DeVos is capable of solving America's education deficit(!)

  17. ADG says:

    What many won’t admit and it seem Arne is no different is that those who are upwardly mobile have to give up their walled garden communities so children born into poverty are allowed to mingle with children who aren’t. Otherwise you will have separate and unequal schools.

  18. Ethiopian Prince says:

    Please watch my video titled:

    "Conquer Oppressors"

    https://youtu.be/uMAzfYZDxlk

  19. chrisose says:

    Myth #5: A good education guarantees you a high paying job.

  20. Ice Adonis says:

    Education is power! If it wasn't we would not have so many against making it accessible…

  21. T. R. Owens says:

    Education or Indoctrination? Simple semantics nowadays. I look at modern colleges as indoctrination centers to bend you into a slot that society provides for you. What if you aren't social? What if you are an introvert that can't get along with other people? Yeah, that's what I thought, too bad for us because society offers very little to social pariahs like introverts. I passed up college and trained as a Toolmaker, doing quite well for myself without that ridiculously costly diploma. College is a scam, intelligent people would do well to skip college and find their own unique way through life without giving thousands and thousands of dollars to these ineffective institutions that are full of pretentious people like the ones at Big Think. These pretentious "deep thought" types are what gives colleges such a bad rep. Learn reality. 🖕🤡

  22. Zenn Exile says:

    FunFact: The Internet contains nearly every last drop of human knowledge. So yer whole premise here is kinda stupid. And kids don't just need "a chance" to get a good education. It needs to just be 100% available to everyone, forever. Because it's obscenely stupid not to provide every citizen of this country the best education available. We're the richest country in the history of the fking world. There is no excuse. And all this "earn it" bullsht? Cram it scum sucker. Our ancestors built this country. They earned it for us. So fuk you, and your "only way". How's that for civil discourse?

    What we really fuking need is to cut the head off the Wealth Consolidators. Either make it too difficult to hoard mass wealth, or just litterally cut their heads off for treason, crimes against humanity, and the wanton manipulation of the global climate. These people will be responsible for the deaths of BILLIONS. They are going kill far more people, for profit, than every brutal regime in human history combined. And as long as we are complicit in this mass genocide, we are the problem. There are only a handful of people in this world monopolizing and monetizing all available opportunity. Because that is how you control the slave population without them realizing they are slaves. You turn opportunity itself into a commodity. And you buy it all up. Poof, instant slaves.

    So fuk all your "give kids a chance" to move up in this world. If we just end psychopathic hoarding of mass wealth, every child born in this country would have food, clean water, shelter, and a competitive global education. Then we'd still have 99% of the resources left over to solve the next tier of society's cancer problems.

    Every problem we have as modern society boils down DIRECTLY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY to Psychopathic Wealth Consolidation. Ending would cause a domino effect of solution and success for every man woman and child in this country, and on this planet. And if you don't understand how, or believe it, than you should just kill yourself and fertilize crops for real people that aren't subhuman trash.

  23. Jonathan Webb says:

    Wow… These flat earthers popping up everywhere

  24. 4ME2WORSHIP says:

    I like the topic of education being brought up. However, we should have a solution dialogue as well. What would vote on?

  25. Don't, Jim Angius says:

    Great video!

  26. myutubechannel says:

    he is completely missing the point. It is the district system that in effect makes it so that the richer you are the better district you can live and the better the school funding is to which you children go to. Parents should be able to send their child to any school they like.

  27. Nal says:

    Upward mobility requires individual effort and research. All it takes is discipline, Google and some time (be it a short-term grind or a long-term marathon).

  28. Celtic Revival / Adfywiad Celtaidd says:

    I have a masters in sustainable business and still struggling

  29. cbmira01yt says:

    Arne, when I hear someone like you say "It's time for us all to pay taxes commensurate with the society we want and need", I'll listen to your other complaining.
    Until that happens, I'll just set you on the shelf with all the other free-market capitalists.

  30. NY NY says:

    BERNIE SANDERS 2020
    Free education,healthcare and higher wages

  31. avader5 says:

    Unfortunately it also requires a higher IQ which is genetic.

  32. mady11995 says:

    I didn't hear 1 big thought or idea, nothing new at all…

  33. Sajjad Mehal says:

    It would have been better if he had presented some solutions instead of just mentioning the problems

  34. FPKMASSACRE says:

    great great video

  35. Petar Stamenkovic says:

    Speaker: I don't care about left/right politics. Also speaker: I want the government to solve everything.

  36. Eli Nope says:

    You know where NOT to get a "good" education? The vast majority of universities. Sure if you can make it into an ivy league college, those are great. But what is not great is your typical state university. You can watch Yale lectures here on YouTube, and if you buy the old books for those old courses, read, learn on your own, and follow the course videos, you will achieve a much better education than you will paying $15,000/semester at a state university and it will cost pennies on the dollar. No papers though, your education has to help you as an individual.

  37. Eli Nope says:

    I disagree on keeping kids safe from fear. That is bad for survival and is very bad for becoming a victim of predatory capitalists.

  38. Jake Gao says:

    You want a huge middle class so the upper class can get rich off them

  39. ijvo1951 says:

    Education leads to Innovation…

  40. EverythingVideoGames35 says:

    The real issue is companies don’t pay a premium for mediocre talent. This why pushing everyone towards college doesn’t work.

  41. Italo Rando says:

    Yeah, get educated before start to sucking some cooperation job….how they say, the means satisfy the ends.

  42. roger Brownfield says:

    Wrongo bongo. Formal education might be an older way to elevate one's status. However, too many people with formal education offered nothing of value to society for far too long. Instead do something valuable for other people. For example being a skilled tradesman like an electrician or a plumber can elevate someone far better than the typical degree in 2019. Many people with bussiness management degrees will never make it past assistant manager on the night shift at Taco Bell, let alone into a gated community, However, that electrician….

  43. Daniel Lassander says:

    Mhy first question was should i downvote this directly?

    1 minute in, of course i should do that. Because he doesnt take all variables into effect.

    How the hell did he determine it was a failure of the education system and also perfectly ignore the students willingness to work to understand it. Both of these things would have the same effect so how in the fucking world did he take one into account and not the second without any proof was more prevalent?

    Listening to people like these will almost never tell you what you should do to make the country better, they have an emotional response but not a well reasoned respone to give.

    "Big think, where 70 IQ is wayyyy too much."

  44. Willliam Fish says:

    If the US implements a merit based immigration system then only the smartest people will get in taking all the best jobs. America won't need education as they will be the ones doing the low skill jobs.

  45. Gameplay Twist says:

    Australia doesn't have gun violence because Australia doesn't have guns via law.

  46. Stephen Willis says:

    Keep the natives poor so a foreign nation can take control form the inside out.

  47. Born in Providence says:

    The real education is in this comment section; interesting.

  48. No Bo says:

    The US education system was created to produce factory workers, which makes it ill prepared to the point of criminality for today's students, failing them from the start and yet a false narrative continues to be propagated "that if we simply funnel more money to said education system, it would magically solve its inherent problems".

  49. Gorio Echo says:

    telling adolescences as they grad HS not to work so you can continue to brainwash them with ideologies of victimhood, and saddle them with loads of debt doesn't work either – just saying, lol

  50. ForrestSCS says:

    1st, Americans ARE moving up:
    fee[DOT]org/articles/why-our-shrinking-middle-class-is-a-good-thing/
    2nd, Govt makes services MORE expensive, not less:
    aei[DOT]org/publication/chart-of-the-day-century-price-changes-1997-to-2017/

  51. INERT says:

    Education, like infrastructure, is not politically sexy. Roads and children don't vote.
    Occasionally they get some money thrown towards them when the US is not in 'crisis'. But that is seemingly looking like they will never see another dime. Everyone around the world knows that US schools are a joke and their kids are fat and angry, occasionally shooting up the place. You'd figure more fat kids would get shot, slowly lowering their numbers as they are slow runners and larger targets, but no.
    You can't tell people to stop doing something and expect them to do it. You have to force them. Or punish and tax their offending behaviour.

    -Make healthy food cheap with a subsidy paid for by a tax on unhealthy food.
    -Make a database that contains the weight of every household. If it is shown that the average weight of each person in the family exceeds a certain number, then triple the price of electricity for that house. Force them to stop watching TV. They will either read or go outside and exercise. Install an exercise bike or treadmill that is hooked up to a generator that powers their home. One of the Family Fat will have to burn some calories if mama wants to watch her stories.
    – popular media and tech devices (like movies, video games, smartphones) have to pay a tax for the damage they have done to society's health. You can fund some better teachers or something with this. Something to reduce the fat, lazy, stupid, materialistic and culture obsessed children.
    These problems would be solved in a dictatorship, but democracy means no one agrees on anything and only the watered down, least offensive things get accomplished. Sometimes in order to protect liberty, it must be suspended. These problems require some bold solutions or otherwise it will take several generations to solve and by that time fat, lazy, culture obsessed children will grow up and procreate with other fatties, and their children will be super fat. The problem is only going to get more difficult to solve the longer you pussyfoot around the issue.

  52. Eric Klein says:

    there are so many jobs that "require" a bachelors degree that a HS dropout can do

  53. Analogy Accepted says:

    100% true.

  54. fgreger says:

    Top ten in nothing is not true.
    Imprisonment is just one example.
    I think obesity might be too.
    And healthcare spending is at least close.
    Military spending is top 5 at least.

  55. heri styono says:

    If voting made a difference they wouldn't allow us to do it.

  56. Tom W says:

    Is this factoring population? There are six times more Americans that South Koreans for example. Is it reasonable that the US can have 6 times the population AND be #1?

  57. Mary Pickford says:

    Here, Romania's education system sucks…I feel like I can't have a bright future here.

  58. Patrick Hohenshilt says:

    If we want to tackle education we need to tackle the family system first. Children are greatly impacted by their parent's education. Unfortunately we live in a climate where abortions are legal, no-fault divorces, split families, and single income households are a thing. The family is institutionally unsupported and the potency of learning in the home has been too irresponsible that the community feels the need to step in. Not only are families not providing discipline, but school systems are using ineffective disciplining techniques. If schools wish to tackle these marginalized communities they need to get the parents involved. The parents must be learning as their children learn so they bring home a normalized culture of expansion and growth; this means intellectually, spiritually, and socially.

  59. Tran Son says:

    which is why we shoud abolish public schools

  60. Mr M says:

    BS upwards mobility requires THE FUCKING BANKS TO STOP PRINTING MONEY and stop the ponzi

  61. 賴志偉 says:

    This fails to see the real problem. What if everyone gets a higher education? Who is going to do the "lowly" jobs? We still need our roads paved, don't we? The real problem is the inequality of wages.

  62. joseph suazo says:

    What do you mean by top ten on nothing? America is number one, the media keep on saying this, American people knows this from heart.

  63. Shawn says:

    Imagine you take an ambulance ride that cost $3000. The driver of that ambulance will make around 12-15 an hour. Say that ride takes 30 minutes. He gets paid a whole six dollars or something. The gas of that ambulance doesn't cost $2994, the supplies for that one person don't either.. So why does this cost so much? Why does the driver make so little? We live in a messed up economy that breeds stupidity. HELL teachers make so little it's a wonder we have anybody with brains at all.

  64. Milan Paunovic says:

    Are you people sane? Every education system is made to keep people stupid so the ones in power stay in their seats…

  65. Tatiyana Kholomonova says:

    How are you planning to promote bigger amount of better educated population -?.. – I can't imagine a kind of vacancies-market.. – What kind of structure such a vacancies-market – for a bigger number of verywell educated people – could have?…

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