A belief in equality will have a bad effect on education. We should hardly think that all men are equally talented and that all the subjects taught in an institution are of equal importance. If we believe that one is as good in judgement as another, this will serve as handicap to the full development of all that is good and excellent in an individual.
The equalitarian is positively wrong if he thinks on these lines. In fact all schools and universities should maintain certain standards of judgement to be based upon the vision of the few, the best and the wisest. True democratic equality means satisfactory maintenance of society. For the great majority of our boys and girls, irrespective of the kind and amount of education they may hope to get, depend not on their own abilities but on the economic status of their family, or the accident of their birth.
The earnings of a very large part of our population are so low that they find it difficult to have even the barest necessities of physical existence. Low family income together with the rising costs of education is an almost impossible barrier to college education for many young people. There no relation, however, between the ability to profit from college education and the ability to pay for it.
Democracy must provide education to all. Indeed mass education is the greatest medium of regenerating a society. But it is not possible that every man whether rich or poor may enjoy equal right or opportunity of receiving education. In olden times, education was confined to the rich, the poor were deprived of it. But even today, personal abilities and low family income is a barrier to college education for many young men.