Leftist firebrand Fredrik deBoer exposes the lie at the heart of our educational system and demands top-to-bottom reform.
Everyone agrees that education is the key to creating a more just and equal world, and that our schools are broken and failing. Proposed reforms variously target incompetent teachers, corrupt union practices, or outdated curricula, but no one acknowledges a scientifically-proven fact that we all understand intuitively: Academic potential varies between individuals, and cannot be dramatically improved. In The Cult of Smart, educator and outspoken leftist Fredrik deBoer exposes this omission as the central flaw of our entire society, which has created and perpetuated an unjust class structure based on intellectual ability.
Since cognitive talent varies from person to person, our education system can never create equal opportunity for all. Instead, it teaches our children that hierarchy and competition are natural, and that human value should be based on intelligence. These ideas are counter to everything that the left believes, but until they acknowledge the existence of individual cognitive differences, progressives remain complicit in keeping the status quo in place.
This passionate, voice-driven manifesto demands that we embrace a new goal for education: equality of outcomes. We must create a world that has a place for everyone, not just the academically talented. But we'll never achieve this dream until the Cult of Smart is destroyed.
About the Author
FREDRIK DEBOER is a writer and academic with a PhD from Purdue University. His writing has appeared in such places as The New York Times, Harper's, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Politico, Playboy, New Republic, Foreign Policy, n+1, and Jacobin. He is one of the most original and prolific voices in essays today, and his anti-tribal style has earned him admiration from political thinkers of all quadrants. The Cult of Smart is his first book.