Diane Ravitch reminds us about the origins of “the best and the brightest” — it probably doesn’t mean what you think it means.
Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:
A reader remembers that when David Halberstam used the phrase “the best and the brightest,” it was not praise. It was an ironic reference to the seemingly brilliant Harvard graduates at the State Department, the National Security Council, and the think tanks who got us into the war in Vietnam.
You often hear education reformers, including President Obama, talk about how we must have the “Best and Brightest” from the most elite schools enter the teaching workforce to improve education.
I always want to say to say to them, the phrase “Best and Brightest” doesn’t actually mean what you think it means.