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[Susan notes: This letter writer hopes people might start looking at the real issue--how we might educate students rather than just schooling them.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

After noting "Houston's School Dropout

Debacle" (Editorial, July 21) we'll possibly

decide that maybe it's time to stop


Schools are coercive and well-intended places

where passive, bored, and anxious students,

so-called, go through the motions of learning.

The results: -- pathetic basic sklls while

virtually all subject matter is HAPPILY

forgotten just as soon as summer rolls


The solution: -- HELP kids keep on learning

with the enthusiasm and effectiveness of

any preschool child by stimulating, revealing,

demonstrating, and encouraging while abol-

ishing all that counterproductive quizzing

and testing.

And then maybe they'll be ready for a

nation where, according to a 1999 Dept.

of Labor report, 70 percent of the jobs

coming on line in the next ten years

could be filled by those with a skill-

proficient 8th-grade education plus

on-the-job training -- which is where

I myself learned to be a competent doctor!

Robert E. Kay, M. D.

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