[Why is he controversial? Because he has a grant program for students who are so passionate about their startup idea that they are willing to drop out of college to get the grant. Which is ironic because in the article, Brooks is citing what Thiel is teaching in his Stanford COURSE!]
The article is about Thiel's views on what and how students get taught in college:
"First, students have to jump through ever-more demanding, preassigned academic hoops. Instead of developing a passion for one subject, they're rewarded for becoming professional students, getting great grades across all subjects, regardless of their intrinsic interests.
Instead of wandering across strange domains, they have to prudentially apportion their time, making productive use of each hour." (from The Creative Monopoly)
Why would that be bad? Read on:
"… We live in a culture that nurtures competitive skills. And they are necessary: discipline, rigor and reliability. But it’s probably a good idea to try to supplement them with the skills of the creative monopolist: alertness, independence and the ability to reclaim forgotten traditions." (from The Creative Monopoly)