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'Lost Education' Finds Replies

July 19, 1991

"Lessons of a Lost Education" should be heeded by today's educators. My elementary school years are still vivid: lots of homework, classroom discipline and teachers' control supported by principals.

Yes, we memorized by rote and, thanks to our daily exercise with arithmetic tables, I can still compute sums faster than young sales personnel.

Having taught 30 years in a California high school, I saw teaching regress from a much respected profession to a job filled with people of low academic rating whose abilities avoided the challenge of the real competitive world. They were more anxious to be liked by their students than to set standards of achievement.

Some of the older teachers who did set standards for excellence were criticized by administrations fearful of invoking the displeasure of parents and community.

Our true hope for education lies in the few dedicated teachers who do set high standards and help children to meet them.

SHIRLEY BERRY

Rancho Santa Fe

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