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Public Education (was RE: Terrorism)

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I disagree strongly with blanket statements like this. While there is much
to criticize about the state of public education in the U.S. at this time,
there is a LOT more to admire. In fact, we are the envy of the world in
providing a quality education to everyone regardless of means. Although we
hear of the more stringent curricula, high test scores, etc., of other
nations compared to ours--a not insignificant challenge that we must
address--the fact is that in much of the world education is a luxury, and
many of these "superior" students elsewhere, in terms of sheer numbers don't
approach the student population in the U.S.; they are the "elite" of their
nations, the rest go begging, especially as you approach the high school and
college levels.

My wife teaches here in our local school system and I have to say the system
is absolutely excellent. In fact, I think that Texas is among those states
where public education has made great strides, mostly because we've been
able to throw out many of the now-discredited practices of the education
establishment, and gotten back to basics.

There is no doubt there are public education systems in various parts of the
country--mostly in the inner cities--that are shameful to behold, but this
has a great deal to do with the dominant political machinery in those

Now, you're in Alabama, where I grew up and was educated--with only one
brief detour to the state of Wisconsin at the beginning of college--from
Sixth Grade through Master's. I am not in Alabama any longer because among
other things it has traditionally been a politically backward state, and I
believe it is still very much that way. In the city of Birmingham where I
grew up, and where I still have family, I KNOW that the political structures
are about as "effective" as those of the old Soviet Union.

So you have to take responsibility in the sense of your citizenship, and
solve the problem with education yourself, one way or the other. I chose to
"vote with my feet" for example, and I am living in a place where public
education is a boon and a blessing.

It's very easy to make simplistic statements like "the problem with
everything is public education," but that doesn't address the problem with
public education. There are problems, but there are demonstrated solutions
as well. I think we all need to recognize that.

-----Original Message-----
From: David L. Fisher [mailto:dfisher(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2001 3:30 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Terrorism

Unfortunately, this young man was the product of our public education
system.  IMHO, the state of public education in America is a much greater
threat to our long term security than scum like ObL.

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