Like Mr. Reil ("America's No. 1 priority," Commentary, May 26-June 2), I have a heartfelt interest in the education of our young people and I feel science and math are wonderful tools that can be used to develop our naturally brilliant minds. I also feel that there is a great deal of improvement that can be introduced to our schools through our direct involvement and encouragement of students and teachers.
I do not feel that my encouragement and interest is of much benefit if it is motivated by the feeling that we are falling behind other countries in our efforts to produce great scientific minds. It is important to contemplate why we want to have schools that provide a top quality learning experience. If we are concerned about keeping America "great" by maintaining an education that is better than, say, the Koreans, are we not using our schools to create people that will continue to use math and science to dominate our fellow humans? Is America great because it is more violent than any nation that has ever existed and are our schools propagating this violence through a form of educational competition?
It saddens me to think that the primary aim of our public schools is anything other than the personal happiness of each student. Let's encourage the greatness of our public schools through a commitment to curiosity and discovery, because it is these qualities that lead to a tender heart.
San Luis Obispo