As a mechanical engineering student who has essentially committed my life’s work to math and science, I find great irony in Brian Eller’s Feb. 7 column. He praises Bush for championing the importance of teaching math and science in our schools in the State of the Union speech.

Funny. I seem to remember Bush complaining about “fuzzy math.” This is a president who supports intelligent design, even though scientists universally agree that it has no foundation in actual science. A president who has steadfastly ignored the effects and implications of global warming. A president who refuses to fund stem-cell research. And most importantly, a president who has cut billions upon billions of dollars from education.

You’re absolutely right, Mr. Eller. Want to make schools work? Make them competitive. But remember, it’s impossible to have the best teachers, programs and activities if you can’t afford them. That’s the main difference between middle schools and higher education. Between state funding and the millions annually rasied from student fees and alumni donations, Cal Poly has enough money to fund all its high-tech labs and to pay its distinguished professors. Inner-city schools that can only pay their teachers $35,000 and can’t even afford books are coincidentally, the worst performers. And it’s certainly not because of their teachers’ union.

Just think, how many more students would be inspired to pursue careers in math and science if Bush had proposed all his “bold new plans” for alternative energy six years ago, when we dirty tree-hugging commie liberals told him to?

Andy Scott

Mechanical engineering sophomore

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