Meritocracy in education is fundamentally opposed to democracy, Charles V. Willie, professor of Education and Urban Studies at the School of Education, said last night.
Willie, who spoke as part of the Cambridge Forum's series "America in the Year 2000," said, "The goal of education in 2000 will change from excellence for a few to adequacy for everyone."
Higher education will be much more democratized by 2000, because it will be more available to everyone, he said.
Willie also predicted that suburban, as well as urban, school systems would be integrated on both racial and social grounds.
Willie said integration would force the schools to adapt their goals to those of the parents of the new students. He predicted that "truth and honesty, as well as proficiency in communication and computation, would be included in the curriculum."
Mario Fantini, professor and dean of the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts, who shared the platform with Willie, said society is about to enter into an age of education. "We have a school system and we need an educational system," he said.
Fantini emphasized "the need for schools to provide alternatives to traditional educational systems so that all students will be allowed to fulfill their potential as individuals and as humans."