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Education for Chang Children

October 03, 1994

Anyone looking for the perfect encapsulation of what is wrong with our educational system and our society need read no further than the Column One article of Sept. 14, "What's Best for Young Geniuses?" on the Chang sisters, the preteen students taking (and excelling in, by all accounts) classes at College of the Redwoods in Eureka.

At one time excellence, studiousness, self-discipline, and hard work were honored (indeed, expected) in our society. No more, obviously. I was sickened by the comments of the so-called "educators" cited in the article (starting with the college president), who seem concerned with everything else but education.

These educators believe the Changs belong with their peer group. I don't suppose it matters a whit to them that those peers often beat up the Changs' brother for no other reason than his grades. And what would they absorb from their peers these days, anyway?

The sisters are too "immature" for college, the educrats say. If "maturity" is exemplified by the typical amoral, hormonally overactive, unstudious college student of today, I hope the Changs never reach "maturity."

And even if their father is using them for self-validation, so what? That is none of the school's business.

HOWARD GOODMAN

Glendale

The article describing the difficulties College of the Redwoods is having with the children of John Chang is disturbing. The United States needs intelligent young people but the college appears to consider them a nuisance.

Johns Hopkins University has a special program for the social and academic needs of talented youth. Schools usually are given money for a program for slow learners, but gifted children do not receive adequate support. Local schools should contact the National Assn. for Gifted Children.

EDWARD V. ASHBURN

Camarillo

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