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Regarding Takamitsu Sawa’s April 9 article, “Redundant higher education“: Sawa’s opinion that “At U.S. colleges and universities, many first- and second-year undergraduate students receive a basic education equivalent to the Japanese high school level” is a smug generality and simply not true.

Although the quality of education in many American high schools is mediocre at best, a number of very competitive high schools offer a demanding curriculum, including fluency in a foreign language, advanced-level exams in math and science, and four years of readings in history and literature.

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