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[Susan notes: Think about the author's thesis: failure, humiliation, and rage lurk behind every loving-teacher's question.



]

Submitted to Philadelphia Inquirer but not published
12/14/2003

To the editor

We wouldn't have to read headlines like "Minority

students trail in the suburbs" (News, Dec. 14) if we'd merely just stop SCHOOLING and start EDUCATING.



Most schools, public or private, are expensive, mandated, coercive, rigid, Prussian-derived, factory-oriented, well-meaning, and very-boring places where passive and obedient students, so-called, anxiously and inefficiently try -- depending on their background -- to jump those "middle-class" intellectual hurdles and

where dangers, a.k.a. failure, humiliation, and rage, lurk behind every loving-teacher's question.



An education, on the other hand, is where

children are HELPED to keep on learning with the

enthusiasm and effectiveness of the 99 percent

who have taught themselves to speak the native

tongue, the most difficult thing we'll ever do.



Yes, it has happened for both rich and poor

in a few scatterd places with exceptional

leaders or, as we've also seen, we could help

them learn more using only that very-interesting

daily newspaper.



In the meantime, we might also keep in mind a

former Supt. of The School District of Philadelphia who has been known to say, off-the-record, that, "The formal assessment and quizzing (sic) of elementary-school children is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of."



Robert E. Kay, MD


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