published Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

It's time to rethink higher education, and more letters to the editors

It's time to rethink higher education

Frank Bruni, like the colleges he writes about, begs the question when he maintains that the challenge is "giving young Americans the best and most useful education."

The presumptions are that educators, employers and politicians -- not to mention students -- know what education is best and useful, that what is best and useful will always be such, and that only the young need best and useful education. Undergirding these presumptions is an anachronistic goal: Prepare the children of elite to rule, and leave everyone else to toil. All of this is dubious, at best, in the 21st century.

There has been a lot of rhetoric about "lifelong learning," yet we run through four years of taking courses within a major, graduate at 22, and think we're prepared to succeed. This approach fails the young and old, alike.

Let's jettison the presumptions and rhetoric. Let's rethink higher education as a continuous process, something that is always done but never finished. Let's make the goal to enable every person to achieve her or his greatest potential and personal fulfillment, regardless of place in society or point in life.

What would college look like if that were it's mission?

GREG LAUDEMAN


St. Peter's 'mad men' auction a success

I have worked as an advocate in our community for various causes since 1985. Never have I worked alongside such a stellar, all-star group of volunteers as I did with the St. Peter's Episcopal School "Mad Men" Auction. Talk about a talented, passionate group of folks. Truly our parents are, in large part, what makes St. Peter's such a special school.

Additionally, I am incredibly thankful to the outpouring of support from our community's businesses, both large and small. Chattanooga is surely one of the most generous cities, and I am so proud to call it my home.

Special thanks to my co-chairwoman, Leonora Williamson. She is a gifted fund-raiser a pleasure to work with on any project.

EDDIE GRANT


Bennett as intolerant as his subjects

In the April 24 edition of the Times Free Press, Clay Bennett's editorial cartoon shows a church marquee declaring, "Intolerance Is Intolerable." Sounds good, but funny thing is, Bennett seems pretty intolerant of views and opinions contrary to his own.

ROBERT J. TAMASY

Letter writer made poor generalization

To the letter writer who wrote that our government "keeps its citizens in line with ignorance, fear and hate." Are you a citizen? Then how would you know what you're talking about? If you do know what you're talking about, then why do you think nobody else does?

That's the trouble with generalizations and labels -- they don't make good arguments.

BOB MILLER, Signal Mountain


Government interferes with workers' wages

Tennessee taxpayers supplied all of the subsidies and the incentives for helping the manufacturing companies associated with VW and Wacker to locate in this area for creating jobs?

Why are the county politicians, our U.S. senators and the Chamber of Commerce interfering in trying to influence the contracts made between these companies and their workers? Why do the Republicans not want the U.S. workers to get the best wages and benefits possible?

CARL BRACKIN, Georgetown, Tenn.

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anniebelle said...

Bob Miller - are you serious? I meet them all the time, those living in fear and anger, in fact, that seems to be all that sustains them in their miserable little lives. Sounds like you must be one of 'them'.

May 1, 2013 at 5:48 a.m.
jjmez said...

I agree with anniebelle. I've met many of them too. They live in constant fear and suspicion of anyone and everyone who doesn't look like them. Living in he same community as they do, where they've formed groups, can be a daily obstacle course. But come Sunday morning, they're all heading to that building that preach love thy neighbor as thyself.

May 1, 2013 at 7:55 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Ignorance cannot be blamed on "the government."
Public education and free libraries are available to all. It's not difficult to expand one's knowledge, yet too many people choose to sit for hours -- uncritically and nearly catatonic -- in front of dumb television shows that spiral mindless nonsense around commercial indoctrination. It's a kind of mind pollution, but few seem to question or care.

May 1, 2013 at 8:05 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Bob Miller - I went back to read the letter you mention. No where does it say anything about the government, just how the GOP controls their constituents. You need to develop some comprehensive reading skills before you flaunt your ignorance.

May 1, 2013 at 1:59 p.m.
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