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Students need 'informed, coherent, and reasonable discourse'

I anticipated that in, “Defining education down,” (Oct. 13) Cal Thomas’s insights would illuminate problems and offer solutions to our educational system's myriad challenges. Instead, he critiqued hand-picked school districts in other states that are neither generalizable nor relevant locally.

His assertions that schools have lowered their standards, adhere to ideological curriculum, and compartmentalize learners, are not accurate depictions of our schools.

Nearly 200 years ago, Horace Mann envisioned public schools free of partisan influence while relying on substantiated and balanced practices. Since then, students, schools and classrooms have changed. Cultural diversity, income inequality, and increasing levels of children's despondency and anxiety have necessitated teacher training in equity, inclusion, and personalized learning.

Thomas's promotion of his own "Children's Scholarship Fund" for lifting children out of poverty by providing pathways to private schooling is not the answer. What is most needed is informed, coherent, and reasonable discourse and action by educators and communities based on validated research and best practices that support the success of all learners.

Laura Greenstein

East Lyme



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