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Both men urged people to think outside the traditional schoolhouse box when it comes to learning.

“Schools aren’t ‘the’ solution,” said Mr. Vivian, a theologian who met Mr. Gregory during the bloody days in Birmingham, Ala. “The focus must be on solving the learning problem.”

He said it’s time to draw up an agenda, which is what led to the end of slavery and, a century later, the successful Civil Rights Movement.

“The greatest issue to me is education. … We know the depth of the problem. We can’t run from it.”

One solution, he said, would be for Congress to designate a high- school-dropout prevention month to focus our attention.

Perhaps.

But as we develop an agenda, we must steer clear of labeling God’s children mental misfits.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.