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Letter: College Isn’t the Only Option

To the Editor:

I was lucky enough to have Paul Keane as my advanced English teacher in 2005. I am writing to commend him for his comments in his March 3 letter.

After graduating from Hartford High School, I attended the University of Vermont, where I had great academic success and even spoke at my graduation. I am now in my second year of law school at Villanova University. I hope to come back to Vermont after I graduate to work in the criminal law sector and maybe teach a course at CCV. While I know college was essential to figuring out what I want in life, I also know that it is not the right path for everyone.

One of the things I am most proud of is where I come from. I take my blue-collar, rural upbringing with me wherever I go. I constantly correct the people I meet who preach this idea that college is the only way. Most of my peers at Villanova are from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Many have never had a real job but think that having an advanced degree means they are successful.

I have many friends from high school who never went to college, and rightfully so. Instead, they became mechanics, landscapers, hairdressers and even, as Mr. Keane said in his letter, business owners. They possess skills that make them remarkably good at trades and crafts, skills I do not possess. It pains me that anyone would suggest they aren’t smart or successful because they didn’t go to college. What a horrible thing for them to think. Success cannot be measured by such an unfair and rigid standard. Of course, I am proud of my education, but only insofar as it was the right choice for me.

Thank you to Paul Keane for being a voice of reason and for reminding us that, without those skilled individuals choosing not to go to college, life in Vermont as we all know and love it would grind to a halt.

Daron Raleigh

Hartford

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Letter: College Isn’t for Everyone

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

To the Editor: In a recent WCAX television interview, the Vermont education commissioner announced that the statewide bubble-chart standardized tests called NECAP will be replaced with tests that require every student to sit in front of a computer. The tests will tell all 11th-graders whether they are “college ready” or not. That’s just great. Let’s find another way adults can …