Tom Friedman: Take Up the White Person's Burden
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You can always count on Tom Friedman in the NYT to express the state-of-the-art conventional wisdom in its purest form:

[Geoffrey] Canada's point is that the only way to fix our schools is not with a Superman or a super-theory. No, it's with supermen and superwomen pushing super-hard to assemble what we know works: better-trained teachers working with the best methods under the best principals supported by more involved parents.

The literary level isn't quite the same, but Friedman's thinking is similar to Kipling's advice to the United States in 1899:

Take up the White Man's burden— Send forth the best ye breed— Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild— Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.
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