In regard to the Jan. 3 editorial, "Community college tuition waivers," there isn't much to argue against. College debt is out of control, nothing is compromised with a two-year degree, opening doors so many more may attend is great and on and on.

Please know that getting into most any college is the easy part. Then there's having the maturity to work on one's own versus having a parent lead the charge in whining about unfair grades, thus artificially inflating GPAs, since a parent is never wrong, and for an educator it is easier to cave to parents' demands than standing their ground.

Add to that the parents' demands that educators must accept their child's late work because the parent says so, and don't forget parents excusing most any absence because an unexcused absence isn't cool; the same goes for being as late as one wants or often.

Although this is a limited sample of things educators must kowtow to, it goes on more than the general public wishes to know. Yes, these self-limiting behaviors work for the short term, but never in a college setting, or in a work setting. I report this with 39 years of high school experience and have seen this and tons more firsthand.

High school is a safe place to learn to fail and grow from one's mistakes. Trust me. Yes, a free community college education can be a good thing. I mentioned that getting into college is easy. It's being successful semester after semester for up to eight semesters that is the tricky part. A "free education" will never replace work ethic and/or maturity, regardless of how many times a parent tells you otherwise.

James Cappuccilli


(4) comments


jsklinelga: I would recommend reading Frank Bruni's "Were You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania." Basically, it's a lot of anecdotal evidence about how some very successful people didn't go to the Harvards and Yales of the world and, in fact, were successful because they found an educational environment that was more suited to their needs. The book is geared toward the college level, but it applies just as much to the high school level.


Mr. Cappuccilli,
Your letter is about free tuition but it seems to reflect your discouraged sentiments about our current k-12 educational system. In the 39 years you have been an educator you must have witnessed some significant changes in the system.
Many in the community share your concerns. My young daughter is struggling with the decisions concerning her children's education. Her oldest is just 7 years old, and, being a stay at home mom, she can home school with limited repercussions. But that will change. The opportunities for a meaningful education in an environment that reflects their values are limited outside the public school system. But in good conscience she feels she would be minimizing her parental responsibilities and obligations by kowtowing and sending her children to public schools.

Changes are needed but this is difficult. Most of us love the concept of our public education system. Thank you for your 39 years of service..


JSK, I think you have a different outlook on schools than Mr. Cappuccilli His LTE was about parents - not schools - coddling their children.


Great letter, Jim!!

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