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[Susan notes: Of course I knew they wouldn't publish this letter but I appended some credos anyway. I identified myself as the author of What Happened to Recess and Why Are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten?

I was tempted to point out that the paper's film critic is more turned into kindergarten 'issues' than is the editorial board--or their cabal of op ed writers who like to expound on education. But I restrained myself and stayed polite.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published
07/31/2015

To the editor

In a fascinating review From Israel, 'The Kindergarten Teacher,' a Drama About Poetry and Obsession, June 31, 2015, A. O. Scott, observes, that the kindergarten teacher "is concerned with the progress of Yoav's 'career,' a strange notion given his age."

Not a strange notion to our nation's kindergarten teachers who must test children again and again to prove they are marching to the US Department of Education drumbeat of "college and career ready."

Scott rightly observes that "there is no condoning the extremes to which [the film's kindergarten teacher] takes her pedagogical mission."

Our five-year-olds know about extremes: Blocks, fingerpaints, songfests, and recess are gone--to make room for the rigor that will keep them on track for the 'knowledge-based, competitive global economy' our leaders insist they train for.

Susan Ohanian


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