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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 8, 2008 at 3:50 PM

The cost of education

We live in a material world

Somehow, our legislators seem to have drunk the Kool-Aid that suggests that our educational problems are directly related to more money.

President-elect Barack Obama stated it quite clearly while in Seattle: “No amount of money can buy achievement.”

There just might be enough money already in the educational pot to educate those children who “want” an education. Our problems have much more to do with the “concept” that we can “entice” children to want to learn instead of having parents and other adults make this a mandate. Schools cannot compete with Disney and the iPod.

As a former school-board member, I can tell you that there isn’t any clambering by the population for “better education.” Better football coaches for sure, but not better education.

This new program looks much more like an enhancement of the juvenile social halls that we call high schools than it does of better education.

The current five-period day funded by the state will allow a serious student to meet the entrance requirements of the most competitive colleges.

Students and taxpayers should expect that high schools “graduate” either a vocationally competent, or academically qualified student. Leave entertainment and “exercise of the physically fit” up to others.

— Charles Hoff, Kent

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