> Except for kids of semi-affluent semi-educated > parents who are headed for a superior score in AP > Calculus. Extrapolate to life success. >
I do not so extrapolate. Some AP calc kids become meth addicts. You mean "improve your odds of success" -- and I'll buy that, though I think calc pre college is oversold. A discrete math trajectory will also buy you a place in the sun, especially around Silicon Valley. If you're really smart, your best bet might be to home school, given those math teachers still refuse to teach you computer programming. Or find some school that offers alternative training (which might be established per some government mandate, e.g. some charter school in Oregon).
> With that qualification, Lou is correct; for the > unwashed masses there is no canon. > > Wayne. >
We have multiple cultures and multiple canons. The state may pretend to hold the only canon, but there'll be churches to compete, and private commercial businesses (which may be very old families, who teach their kids some odd combo of fencing and selling pizza).
The state has a right to educate those who volunteer to be public servants, i.e. agree to operate the state on behalf of the voters, as delegates, representatives or whatever (note: "delegate" has an important link to "equivalence class" in the sense that we might take 3 as representative of all integers leaving remainder 3, once the 17s are divided out -- an equivalence class in modulo arithmetic). The military gets to drill its own, and so on. Police and fire fighters have mandated trainings. You don't want to fight fire with unskilled personnel.
In other words, it's not correct that the state is toothless and has no power to provide training, as well as certification. Universities have degree granting powers. They're not so privileged in that regard, that we can't imagine governments having similar powers. I think it's hypocritical for a school to advertise its tough standards, the high level of academic achievement represented by its degrees, and then turn around and say a state may not recruit by means of similar, if not identical, advertising/propaganda campaigns.