Talk about the role education has played for you…
My parents were born in Haiti, and came to America not knowing how to speak English, so education education education was really drilled into me, For almost anyone who has immigrant parents, education in America is seen as the way to get access to the American dream. And so for me, education has truly been a vital part of who i’ve become. But then somewhere along the journey, i think it was after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, where the author stated “the banker doesn’t care what your grades are” that I realized there’s a difference between education and school.
Is getting an education as important as it was 20 years ago to landing the job you want today?
No, but being educated is more important than ever before. Knowing who the 16th president is off the top of your head is less relevant because information has become a commodity. It’s how we interact with the information we receive that really sets people apart, so the skills of teamwork and of empathy…really all the EQ stuff, is really moving to the forefront in terms of where society is going. This is the great differentiator. As it turns out, the class clown actually has a better chance of being successful now than the brainiac because all the stuff the brainiac knows Google does too.
Don’t let school get in the way of your education.
Are there some people in our culture today who don’t need a college degree?
Yes. College campuses have a real problem because the internet is not just coming, it’s here. Moreover, the opportunity to receive focused/individual instruction apart from a school environment has significantly improved and just makes more sense for certain kinds of learning.
Reflect a bit on the present educational system.
Sure. Let’s start here. Having a group of students in the classroom who are all learning from one teacher at the exact same time is a relic of a different age. It may make sense for kids who are younger because it teaches them a set of disciplines, but our current educational model is built to prepare people to work in factory jobs. Those jobs are going away. Too, the robots are coming and they are going to perform tasks better, faster, and more efficiently than most humans do, so the ability to work together in teams is going to be more important.
Advances in education and technology have been so vast that there’s no excuse for students to ever receive a bad lecture. By contrast, there should be master teachers who creates and records instruction for not only one class, but thousands of classes. These master teachers would have coaches supporting their teaching in the classrooms, resulting in world-class instruction for every student in the country.
You seem passionate about this. How would you personally like to make a difference?
I feel that education is the civil rights issue of our time. The challenge of access to quality education has resulted in one of the most racially charged disparities in the country. When you have such a huge group of people who are disenfranchised from quality education it’s hard to say they have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I remember being at Dunbar High School when President Obama encouraged kids to be diligent about going to school and I saw kids around me actually being impacted by that. Kids don’t have a lot of examples of great African American men who went to school and became successful in business. I want to be that kind of example.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whEther at twenty or eighty. anyone who keeps learning stays young.