TMO The Best Is Yet to Come Part IV insetEducation is arguably the number one priority of the Meritocratic State. Without Customized Education, all other tenets of Meritocracy would shift uneasily on a foundation of sand. Only a highly advanced education system, universal for all children, coupled with the development of a “culture of education”, will provide the heartbeat and lifeblood of Meritocratic quality to the Republic. It is utterly crucial to maximize education for all, because cultivation of everybody’s merit is axiomatically paramount in a Meritocracy: people will be vetted for their merit that they acquired with full access to all available resources, i.e., via equal opportunity. When the grand Meritocratic project is complete, the successful person’s rose-up-from-nothing brag will be obsolete, as well as any claim to having beaten the odds set against them, simply because familial origin as an indicator of prospects for life accomplishment will be completely out of date.

Yes, perhaps that person’s parents were materially unsuccessful, poor and uneducated. In today’s system this would mean that they would have likely attended a low-quality public school in a low income area; they would have grown up without exposure to resources in a wide variety of subjects; the time- and money-stressed family would have had neither the means nor intellectual capability to support and encourage that child’s innate talents; and the school system will have given them a one-size-fits-all approach.

In a Meritocratic school system, conversely, that student will be exposed to various subjects by the school system; they will be analyzed by professionals as to where their strengths and talents lie, and encouraged into those areas in order to increase their proficiency in the subjects of their propensities; and they will have their psychological profile and learning style assessed, and matched with the program that fits their individuality. Today, kids languish in underfunded, low-quality holding pens. The system offers them no hope for the freedom to advance themselves — the rare ones who do are the odds-breakers — while students at elite private schools are expected to take the fast track towards success. The Meritocratic society will do away with the disparity, create a culture of education, and make every school in its ghettos, as well as in wealthy areas, of higher quality than the elite schools of today.

In practical terms, and chronologically, it is likely that sweeping educational reforms by highly intelligent, creative, and ambitious visionaries in pedagogy will denote the first great milestone in the Meritocratic project. Should the Millionaire’s Estate Tax be practically instituted prior to the implementation of educational reform, where would the funds of the recently deceased super rich go? To our current education system? Welcome once again to inefficiency, embezzlement, bureaucratic gridlock, and wasted potential. No, the system must be prepared for the new influx of funds; it must be primed for utilizing the released, formerly hoarded assets with maximum efficiency and efficacy. So, what specifically is the educational infrastructure to look like, in order to be deserving of estate tax funds?

As mentioned in a previous installment, our gilded age is one where we have vast knowledge of psychology and science, yet an educational system that is woefully far behind in utilization of this knowledge, and in cultivation of creativity. The film “Re-imagining School” communicates innovative, up-to-date pedagogical reforms in the mainstream sphere. “All kids have tremendous talents, and we squander them — pretty ruthlessly.” —Ken Robinson

The horrendous disparity between the current reality and the potential of education is such that we are beyond the need for education reform; rather the imperative is for an education revolution.

The following tenets are fundamental of the Meritocratic educational model, based on principles concluded from empirical, socio-psychological research:

Individuals learn via different styles, and require varied approaches. Therefore, Customized Education, the Meritocratic system, is both specialized and universal. It is specialized in its various programs, finely tuned for each child’s learning style (kinisthetic, visual, auditory, etc), but universal by its ubiquitous application.

The many psychological profiles of individuals indicate their personalities and tendencies, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. For example, an extroverted, sensing, feeling perceptive type will have very different learning strengths and weaknesses compared with an introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging type. Therefore, Customized Education practically applies up-to-date knowledge of psychology in order to individualize the curriculum and teacher-student pairing methods. It also makes it possible to fine-tune student groupings and learning styles. Of further benefit will be to teach all students, from elementary school onwards, about the psychological types, for better understanding of themselves, and of their schoolmates and fellow members of society. This will cultivate psychological harmony and mental health. Psychology is of utmost importance because for better or worse, it is used to manipulate us. Advertisers and marketers have been the first thus far to maximize psychological tools for profit. It is time for teachers to catch up, and push forth psychological education, to equip our citizens with the tools to prevent themselves from being brainwashed, and instead be autonomous and self-actualized.

Problem-solving and lateral thinking are crucial for developing creativity. Customized Education pushes well beyond facts and rote memorization. When implemented, it will imbue in all curricula the elements of the Socratic Method, encouragement of the devil’s advocate, and the importance of challenging assumptions and asking questions. “Deconstruction” will be a common theme of pedagogy, as all cultural norms and historical perspectives are challenged and critiqued, culminating in higher ideals of human identity. Logic, psychology, and philosophy will no longer be confined to college courses, but taught as basic education, continuously reinforced until graduation.

Empirical research has shown that 10,000 hours of practice in any given skill affords sufficient time to become a “master”. Therefore, Customized Education is catered and comprehensive not only in scope, but in provision of the time necessary for development under the influence of all that individualized attention.

What will we expect as an outcome of such a system? What will the first graduating class of the Meritocratic education system look like, where every young adult not only has been exposed to every subject until they found what they loved, but fine-tuned to maximize their strengths, improve their weaknesses, and practiced a skill or talent of their choice until they became a master at it? Can you imagine this system, applied to every single child, with absolutely zero regard for that child’s familial background? Can you imagine the quality, the level of human capital that will have been cultivated? The aggregate level of skills, knowledge, determination, mental health, and will to innovate will be staggering, as standards for high-quality outcomes will no longer be confined to those of privilege, but to all citizens. If there are any major world problems our generation has yet to solve, what is the likelihood that an entire generation of cultivated geniuses will be equipped to solve them? 100%.

Remember, demand for equality of outcome is abhorrent — equality of opportunity is to be maximized. There will naturally be some students who excel beyond others, and rightly so, for we are all unique individuals. However, never again will there be the excuse of not having had the opportunity to make something of oneself, as that opportunity will be guaranteed for every single child. This system does not aim to eliminate the bell curve of human capital, whether defined in talent, intelligence, or skills. Bell curves in those regards among the distribution of people will always exist. What the Meritocratic education system aims to do is to move the entire bell curve to the right, so that the smartest, most self-actualized citizens of today might be equivalent to the average of tomorrow, and the “outliers” of tomorrow will constitute an entire class of individual leaders that surpass DaVinci and Einstein in stature, and all the smartest people in human history.

Customized Education will be funded by the assets gained from the Millionaire’s Estate Tax: all of an individual’s excessive wealth will be taxed at death, and placed into a special fund for this education system. The common rebuttal from those who are against this tax is that they are working in order to provide for their children a better opportunity, to mitigate the disadvantage their children will have in the rat race, in order to have a better advantage than they did. Consider the implications and assumptions of this mindset. It assumes that there is a rat race, in which some children are advantaged and most are disadvantaged; and due to the reality of the situation, the way to their children’s prosperity is to pass on to them as much as possible in order to equip them for this game that was automatically rigged against them in the first place by the super rich — who are already born into an incredibly favored position. Those who are afraid of this tax automatically proclaim, “But what about my kids!”

This protest is perfectly refuted by Customized Education. Why? Because if you are outrageously wealthy, or if you are spectacularly poor, your child will be guaranteed all the benefits of this education system. Hence, when you die, your children, not receiving your hoarded wealth, will not be disadvantaged; to the contrary, they will be provided the most monumental boons civilization has ever been able to offer them.

By Phoenix Goodman

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