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Education is valued on job, less so in classroom
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I'm 33 years old and I've finally decided to go back to college. I dropped out after my freshman year and truly have no regrets about it. I've travelled all over and I've led a great life. Now I've finally settled on a path I would like to follow and I need to go to school for it.

I was nervous about going back. It's been a long time. I was convinced to take the College Level Examination Program tests to get out of taking as many classes as possible. While taking the English Composition test I felt sick and sad at the same time; was this really college level English I was testing for? It was full of questions like:

They left ­­...­­ table.

A. There

B. They're

C. Their

D. Thayr.

I couldn't believe it. U.S. History was just as easy. I am certain I could have passed the tests when I was in the sixth grade.

There have been a few times over the past decade when not graduating college caused me suffering. There's the way people act superior to you and treat you like a lesser being. Then there's the big one: finding a job.

More than once I have applied for and been interviewed for a job only to be told by the boss, "You are the perfect candidate for this position, I know you'd do a great job and I'd love to hire you but instead I have to hire someone that's less qualified and won't do as well because he/she has a college degree."

Then there's the job I had where my boss told me I was the best person they had ever had in the position but I made $10,000 less a year than everyone else because I didn't have a degree.

Classes have started. I'm pretty sure my dog is more intelligent than some of my classmates. How did these people make it into college? Not only that how in the world did they make it out of high school?

Let's ignore my classmates for a minute and focus on the teachers. All my quizzes are multiple choice and open book then all my tests are questions from the quizzes. I don't blame the teachers though they're just doing what they have to do to keep their jobs. Teachers who fail students get fired. They have to make the classes as easy as possible so the students will pass so they'll still have a job next semester.

I am a huge fan of education. I'm even a fan of free education but if we're going to send our children to school then let's educate them! Just because they got that high school diploma or that college degree does not mean they are educated.

Does a high school diploma really mean anything if they can't read and write? It's time for serious reform in our system. We need to focus less on graduating big numbers and more on educating big numbers.

Devidyal Givens