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Letter to the editor...How you know you're educated
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Dear Editor: The basic problem with U.S. public education is that we have forgotten or never defined just what the objectives are much less the goals of K-12 education. Almost no one knows that the original intent was to create a population who could read and reason enough to make informed decisions when electing [and] voting. That goal has been abandoned in favor of two mutually exclusive goals: malleable consumers and skilled workers for undefined industry.

After 20 years of asking educators, professors, business people and people at various meetings what should be the product of education and getting blank stares in response, I have come up with the following criteria.
A person is educated if they can balance a bank account, explain and apply percentages and margins, read a common contract and write an explanation of what it entails and requires, write a letter of introduction that could be used in applying for a job, describe and explain the scientific method of research, explain with words and diagrams the water cycle.

That's it. If you can do the above, no matter at what age, you are officially educated.

If you want to acquire more knowledge or skills, perhaps those industries that need employees with such attributes can provide opportunities for would-be employees - like funding public schools for instance.