$100,000 To Drop Out

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 14 2011 @ 8:41am

Sarah Lacy profiles Peter Thiel, paypal co-founder and venture capitalist. Thiel is on a mission to pay smart kids to drop out of school and start a company. His reasoning:

If Harvard were really the best education, if it makes that much of a difference, why not franchise it so more people can attend? Why not create 100 Harvard affiliates? […] It’s something about the scarcity and the status. In education your value depends on other people failing. Whenever Darwinism is invoked it’s usually a justification for doing something mean. It’s a way to ignore that people are falling through the cracks, because you pretend that if they could just go to Harvard, they’d be fine. Maybe that’s not true.

Reihan's interest is piqued:

Soaring education spending is as striking as soaring health spending, yet it has only recently started attracting the same critical scrutiny. Alternative credentialing systems, improved funding formulas, and tighter limits on education spending are all part of the solution. But the deeper change will be cultural.