To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I am responding to two recent columns, one by Michelle Gillett ("Age of ignorance definitely upon us," op-ed, April 15), the other by David Brooks of The New York Times ("No love for Common Core," editorial page, April 21). They speak volumes about ignorance and the necessary Common Core standards, which go hand in hand.

I have not had an opportunity to read Charles Simic’s blog as mentioned in Ms. Gillett’s column. I have, however, witnessed first hand the widespread ignorance of college students. I too saw this decline in the students I taught. Step backwards to high school, even elementary school, to understand that independent thinking and common sense were lost somewhere.

In my opinion, technology has created "digital brains," and with them, bred ignorance. The Internet is a wonderful resource but it provides a vast amount of nonsense which the ignorant believe to be true.

My generation had the National Inquirer as the source for "important news." The "news" was nonsense but it was fun and entertaining. My favorite hoax was Burger King’s left-handed Whopper for left-handed customers in 1998. It was nonsense but believed by many.

Now there are apps for almost everything. The app requires little thinking, therefore, are the apps smarter than the consumer or vice versa? Do we need to know calorie counts on everything we eat or an app to tell us not to eat candy?

Brooks’ thorough explanation of Common Core was well-written and a perfect example of independent thinking, which our country desperately needs. The standards set goals that our country should be demanding that future citizens have. Many standards have been in existence for years such as licensure exams for attorneys, nurses, electricians and many other vocations. Why should we even question having standards in place?

Let’s go back to the three R’s, reading, writing and arithmetic, which were standards and still are. Isn’t that what Common Core standards are?

BETSEY HALLIHAN

Ashley Falls