As an alumnus of the El Centro public school system, I can say with pride that within it contains some of the finest teachers likely to be found anywhere in America.
However, like many of my friends, classmates and teachers from those years, I was constantly blocked and bullied by the administrative thugs in those schools.
It was only after I began college that I discovered what a truly boundless education could do for both a person's intellect and spirit. At Indiana University, I have found complete academic and social freedom. When I think of how profoundly I have been changed by this environment, I'm sorely disappointed that this remarkable existence has come to me so late in my academic career.
I have many friends graduating with me this year who will be dedicating their lives to education. They tell me how excited they are to be entering a profession where they can have such a profound impact on our youth. I smile and take it in stride. I know, or at least realize what they do not — that unless education as we know it changes, schoolchildren and schoolteachers all across this country will continued to be robbed of their basic right to exercise their minds.