It was with interest and irritation that I read Mike Hasten's Jan. 7 story, "Governor, Regents kick off new state plan for colleges."

There is a quote that goes something like, "Those who will not read are no better off than those who cannot read." I think that quote pretty much sums up the main problem in education. Students today are interested in things, not ideas.

During the 20 years I have been a professor at University of Louisiana-Lafayette, I have consistently had to "dumb down" my junior/senior level lectures because the students didn't really learn anything in the freshman/sophomore courses.

Years ago my students were often the first generation of Cajuns to attend college. Their English was a little odd, but they understood hard work. Indeed, they had helped out on the farm or the family store to earn money that was set aside for college. They continued to work throughout college. They had been drilled on the value of an education and really wanted to learn. They had a sense of honor, and wrote very refreshing and original term papers.

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Sarah Stravinska