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Better Education, to Prepare Better Citizens

Better Education, to Prepare Better Citizens
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To the Editor:

Re “Actually, You Can Fix Stupid,” by Timothy Egan (column, March 31):

Yes, Americans are shockingly lacking in civic awareness.

Yes, our schools can and should do a better job of preparing students to be participating citizens.

But an overemphasis on STEM education is not to blame. Science, taught well, shows young people how to use valid evidence to support conclusions and how to discern when preconceived notions taint observations. These are essential features of both scientific investigation and citizenship.

There is, however, an overemphasis on consequential testing, which prioritizes short, quick-response answers over deliberation and elaboration, and prioritizes test scores over authentic learning.

A better mix of science education to make sense of the natural world and social studies to makes sense of how people live in the world can go a long way toward developing more effective citizens. Automatically registering all 18-year-olds as voters would help, too.

ARTHUR H. CAMINS, BEACON, N.Y.



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