What Education Means for Polarization

November 4, 2021

Can retooling the American education system strengthen our civic life and make our politics less polarized? Education veteran Peter Smith says yes – and he knows what he’s talking about. Here’s our conversation with him about how changing the way we think about higher education could strengthen our civic fabric.

Smith is a former member of Congress and former Lieutenant Governor of Vermont who led the effort to create a community college in Vermont, served as the first president of a California university, and served as Assistant Director General for Education for UNESCO (not to mention a Civic Genius Advisory Board member). That’s all to say, he knows a lot about education – and from every angle. His new book Stories from the Educational Underground: The New Frontier for Learning and Work, shines a spotlight on an untapped American resource: the extraordinary talent, intelligence, and potential that is currently ignored by the traditional college model.


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