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[Susan notes: This is a terrific letter, one that will break your heart. But let it stir you to action too.]

Published in Miami Herald

To the editor

I am a student at Miami Jackson Senior High School. My fashion-production class will not be offered next year. Cosmetology and electronics won't be, either. Last year, our auto-body shop and driver's education courses were canceled. These courses help students who don't plan to go to college to get a job after graduation. They also are incentives to come to school and get a license to work on something that students like.

Is this the price that we have to pay because of the FCAT? Don't these courses help us practice the skills needed to pass the FCAT? It is criminal to deny an education (academic or vocational) to someone just because he or she cannot pass a standardized test. Although I passed mine, I feel that every student should have the opportunity to have a better future. Isn't this the American dream?

Gema Miranda

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