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[Susan notes: Good point. When a teacher is forced to deliver a laundry list of standards, chances are great that the course will fail to engage students. ]

Published in Sacramento Bee

To the editor

Re "The 'silent epidemic' of school dropouts," commentary, Feb. 27: Reasons for dropouts are multiple but some can be traced to the education system itself.

One of the most common reasons cited by kids who contemplate dropping out is that they are bored. When English, math and other subjects have 100 or more required state standards to cover there is a tendency for instruction to be a mile wide and an inch deep. Time for analysis or class discussion is replaced by lectures.

Taking art, PE and music out of most K-12 grades does little to support creativity or imagination in our youngsters. Removing vocational classes and other electives discourages pupils from learning skills for the job market.

Christopher Barry

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