ABSTRACT

If there had been intellectual truants in the Depression, in the 1960s there were adults on and off campuses masquerading as children and children only too happy to play truant from any obligation to pursue studies, enter the labor force, or serve in the armed services. College campuses welcomed sober and serious-minded veterans. As with so many other things, this bubble of growth came to an end late in the 1960s as enrollments peaked and budgetary constraints made their appearance once again as they had done in the 1930s. The state of Minnesota launched an experiment in statewide open enrollment in which parents could send their child to any public school in the state, thereby bringing a measure of competition to the schools. For American society, the new challenges were global competition and the emergence of the information superhighway. Clearly, the new challenges of the age placed a premium on “trained intelligence” and a penalty on the uneducated.