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Four-Year Snobbery Over There, Not Here

In a speech that might not have been adequately vetted by Karl Rove or Mike Deaver equivalents on Prime Minister Theresa May’s staff, British Education Secretary Damian Hinds, on Thursday, December 6, called his fellow countrymen a bunch of “sniveling snobs.”

OK, he never said “sniveling.”  My bad.  I just threw that in for added effect.

But a headline in London’s Daily Telegraph right beforehand did read, “’Snob’ Parents to be Told Degrees are Not the Only Route to Success.”  With the story going on to declare, “Britain has become a nation of ‘snobs’ who think university is the only way to get a good job, the Education Secretary will say today.”

And that, “Parents must understand that a degree is ‘not the only path to a great job’ and school leavers who embark on apprenticeships deserve ‘as much praise’ as their classmates who go on to university,” according to Hinds.

And then, “As a nation I’m afraid we’ve been technical education snobs.  We’ve revered the academic but treated vocational as second class.”

Followed by, Hinds saying “this snobbery has long gone unchallenged because politicians and others in public life have viewed vocational courses as suitable only for ‘other people’s children.’”

Take away the snooty “snob” and “snobbery” references, which wouldn’t work terribly well if Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos tried them, and what Hinds had to say would be on-target and perfectly proper on our more decorous and mannerly side of the Atlantic.

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