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Fix Education




My wife and I were deeply moved by the perceptive article "What's it all? about?" that appeared in the Nov. 24 issue of the Journal. It touched? my heart in more ways than one.?The phrase: "The system is broken" has been part of the ongoing? conversation in our house ever since Obama started showing his true? colors.?It seemed that he was our last, best chance to steer the country from its ?present disastrous course by electoral means. When I was younger, we? employed the metaphor of a swinging pendulum to describe the course of? electoral politics in this country. Today it doesn't so much resemble any?more of "a pendulum thing" as it does "a Humpty-Dumpty thing." America? seems to have passed its apogee, and so also have our expectations for the ?future.

During the late 1940s I attended U.C. Berkeley, then approaching its own? apogee, heavily stocked with a supply of Nobel laureates. It was an ?intellectual free-fire zone, intensely exhilarating! The fee at the time? was just $50 per semester. My former girlfriend, who had grown up under ?wretched circumstances (she had lived in the "projects"), was able to? graduate with honors from S.F. State. I believe the fee there was just $5 ?per semester.? A necessary (but not sufficient) condition for this country to escape the ?fate of Humpty-Dumpty is to guarantee free access to higher education for? all qualified students.

Robert Astrue, Trinidad

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