Harvard Professor Paul Peterson and Former Assistant Secretary of Education Chester Finn have been studying the American education system for a long time. What they've observed is a disturbing trend.
"We had the greatest schools in the 19th century and the early 20th century," said Peterson. "We had elementary education before any other country. We had high schools before any other country. We built colleges before any other country."
But in the 1970s, the momentum changed.
Seth Godin is a fantastically successful entrepreneur who — in his own words — has been thrown out of offices, looked at like he’s crazy, and generally refused to follow the crowd. It’s the personal history you might expect from someone whose latest book, “The Icarus Deception,” argues that those who don’t innovate and think creatively will be left behind by the Internet generation. In 1998, Yahoo paid $30 million for the marketing company Godin started on a shoestring and made him a Vice President. But Godin soon left Yahoo, wrote bestselling books about the new innovation economy and spoke at companies like Disney, Amazon, and Google — and he wants American education to encourage similar risks.