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Education: ROTC and Critical Thinking

June 01, 1995

I recently attended a Culver City school board meeting where the issue of bringing the junior Reserve Officer Training Corps to Culver City High School was on the agenda (Westside, April 20). I was shocked by the lack of information the board had on this program, including any that set out the flaws of the program.

I was also appalled by their refusal to listen to audience comments. Certain board members basically railroaded this program through without any input from the community.

A junior ROTC program is not designed to teach critical thinking. The major problem facing education today is the inability of the system to teach critical thinking to our children. The recent CLAS scores have made this extremely clear.

The ROTC program is designed to teach children to follow and to become enlisted men--not officers. A child in the program will not be able to go on from high school to join the service as an officer. The program is simply designed for recruitment.

It is a shame that the school board, too, is unable to think critically and instead seeks to solve the problems with education and at-risk children by bringing in a military program, rather than teaching dispute resolution without aggression.

The board should first reinstate programs such as music, art and swimming, which teach team spirit, values and give at-risk youths enrichment and fulfillment, before bringing in a program that has our children in uniforms learning marching drills on a public school campus.

LAURA STUART

Culver City

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