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Jim Smith

I couldn’t agree with you more…that the majority of our effort and money should go towards making sure our youngest students can read and write. No one accepts our position near the bottom of every educational survey. The other end of the picture, as you pointed out, is our high school dropout rate. And the reason many kids give for chronic absences and dropping out are that they find high school to be irrelevant. Robotics programs aren’t just about legos…it’s about students learning to pay attention in math class…encouraged to compete academically…and professionally developing teachers in math and science.

I would love to coordinate a time for you to watch a teacher who uses robots in her classroom and let you decide if it’s worthwhile to teach students how to use inquiry to become self-directed learners. Is this “the” answer to keeping kids in school? No, but I believe it’s a piece of a very complicated puzzle.

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Milan Simonich writes about New Mexico politics and government from the Santa Fe Bureau for the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership.

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