[Susan notes: Education policy makers could learn something from the movie Cold Mountain.]
To the editor
I just saw the newly released film, Cold Mountain. In one scene, Ada and Ruby, two women struggling to survive during the Civil War, are building a fence. Ruby is asking Ada questions related to local geography and farming. Ada replies that she can talk about farming in Latin and she can read French. She can name the principle rivers in Europe but not one stream in her own county. She can arrange cut flowers but she can't grow them. Her formal education has not taught her any functional, practical skills.
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