can money buy education?

The answer to the title of Shannon Hayes' article at Yes!, "Can Money Buy Education?" is decidedly yes: you can buy a college degree, it will be called education, and you will make more money if you can get one of these things.  It is a credential that ensures you make more money and it is designed that way.  And it can definitely be bought: from straight cash to SAT prep courses, in fact, standardized testing has been perfected to only test exactly this linkage between class and high standards. 

And the answer is also decidedly, no:  all kinds of money and Ivy League degrees could not enable the vast majority of economists and thinkers to foresee the largest economic crisis in more than 60 years, it has not enabled modern doctors to perform breech births and keep caesarian rates low, it has not enabled agricultural colleges to foster organic agriculture, the list could go on.

That academics succumb to peer-pressure and that our education system is designed to ensure class status isn't news to anyone but the large number of Americans who have grown used to the idea of themselves as the beneficiaries of wealth on their personal merit.  We have heard that meme expounded relentlessly in the last thirty years and the subtle temptations of it have beguiled many.
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