- - Sunday, February 7, 2016


Thank you, Michael Poliakoff, for pointing out the lack of capability of many college graduates (“College ignorance and the threat to liberty,” Web, Feb. 3). While agreeing with the points Mr. Poliakoff makes, it should be noted that the problems he describes pervade the whole educational system and apply equally to middle and high schools.

As a student in England in the 1950s, I was fortunate to go to a high school in which the principal himself took the first year intake for a civics course. This had the dual advantage of the principal getting first-hand knowledge of all those entering the school, and of the pupils getting an understanding of how their government was selected and the country ruled.Another aspect of my schooling that was so important was the reinforcement of the need to read broadly and to question concepts and ideas in order to ensure that every course was properly understood. Self-confidence had to be earned by demonstrating capability; prizes and awards were given for excellence, not for attendance.

Lest readers believe I am writing because I was so successful at school, I should add that I did not get a prize until my final year of high school. But I did leave with a wonderful education that prepared me well for college.



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