MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 11, 2014

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Education far more critical than ever


— I wish I could say I was surprised by the simplistic attitude expressed in Catherine White’s Jan. 7 letter. Apparently, she doesn’t like the way that modern education goes beyond the three R’s and faith in God that were taught during colonial times. At least, that’s what I gathered — she really wasn’t very clear or coherent in her letter.

Well, to be fair, she does have a small point. It’s more than merely tragic that colleges have to have remedial reading, writing, and arithmetic classes for students who never properly learned those things to begin with. And I can’t exactly say I’m impressed with the effects of No Child Left Behind on the primary and secondary school systems.

But the fact of the matter is that the recent advances in science and technology, especially information technology, have made education far more critical than it ever was before. Moreover, they’ve made older standards of education obsolete. When someone can easily access a huge amount of information through a simple Google search, which previously had to be acquired through long and largely tedious study, it becomes far more difficult to justify subjecting a student to an education that focuses on rote learning and memorization.

And that isn’t even touching on the “faith in God” that she bemoans no longer being in the curriculum. But let me ask an honest question: Do parents truly want educators to decide what religious values to teach, or do they want to teach that to their own children?

Jeffrey “Jaime” Ehlers

Muskogee