"the knowledge bank account"...
Knowledge is not something akin to a bank account or budget, to be doled out in specific ways at specific times. It is not always to be spent or spent wisely. Knowledge is to each individual, their right to own, right to collect at will, and right to do with as they wish.
Progressives of their heyday said that teaching the masses to be doctors etc was a waste and that, without actually saying it overtly, we needed to dumb down education. A.H. Lauchner, a principal in 1951, said, "not every child has to read, figure, write and spell...that many of them cannot or will not master these chores."
The US Office of Education declared, "most boys and girls are headed for jobs that require little training"; the high schools should not encourage such false illusions of "white collar superiority" as there are so few doctors and lawyers- to promote a rigorous education would be a democratic disservice which "inspires glamorous hopes that may not be justified". I could go on and on with quotes but you get the idea.
Since when was knowledge seen as something to be spent, and used for gain? Meaning, why is it a disservice to teach the "dummies" (implied) chemistry, Shakespeare, and World history?
Okay I agree not every can become doctors. Not everyone will because not everyone wants to. A proliferation of learned peoples would not mean we'd have 100,000,000 doctors and only one garbage man. I've met many a learned man in a "blue collar" job and many "idiots" in white collar careers. But can't we just be wise, or at least trained to be so? Maybe everyone will know something about anatomy but a doctor would have studied even more than the general public and have a keen interest in ability in his practice, thus he'd qualify for the job and perhaps engage in intellectual discourse with his patients and be a better doctor for that. An enlightened, learned mass would know the world around them, and I guess that scares the elite in power. But that is a whole different soap box. Why is it that people assume/assumed that if, say, everyone studied anatomy in high school, they'd all "expect" or have "glamorous hopes" of becoming a doctor? I studied algebra II and there is no way in heck I'd ever be a mathematician. What I learn does not get me anywhere, it is what I do with what I learn. I, along with the rest of the United States, could know, if taught, quite a lot about law and politics for example, but that does not make us lawyers or politicians.
I am tired of the notion that schooling equates intelligence and arrogance. Okay so yes I have a BA, MA, three teaching credentials but I have learned a heck of a lot more outside the classroom, being the autodidact that I am. I know people that use their education as either a bragging right, weapon, or right to things. By that I mean, many claim their opinion is correct, they must be looked up to, because " I went to such and such school and have so many years of education compared to ____". The schooled elite have made a system, a bureaucracy (on purpose) which dictates that years of school = rights. Such rights can be used as a weapon, a me vs them cadre of "intellect" promoting the belief that the schooled are omniscient, fit for ruling over others' decisions in life. Lastly, it is assumed that the more years of school you've attended, and thus the more you supposedly know, the higher pay you deserve. This must mean that if everyone, even the "commoners" learned about classical theory, Aristotle, Calculus, etc that they would likely pursue further schooling and thus, since not everyone can be a doctor, expect to make $100,000 as a manual laborer because they have suck knowledge that they deserve the money, they earned it.
Perhaps if school weren't such prescribed drudgery, and did actually educate and not merely school, people would not feel their education was a right to money, nepotism, and arrogance. The enlightened "masses" would rule our nation as was once intended, with the knowledge needed to self-guide a society towards betterment. But how dare I dream of such a reality, I best go back to my socially ordained place in society and not challenge those in power. They have PhD's after all.