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[Susan notes: Aint bureaucracy wonderful?]

Published in New York Times
07/27/2004

To the editor

Re "Good and Bad News Cited in Summer School Turnout'' (news article, July 23):



As it now stands in many New York City school districts, a child in pre-kindergarten cannot under any circumstances repeat the year, even if parents, teachers and supervisors agree that the child would benefit from another year of pre-K and it might prevent him or her from failing later. Yet in third grade, children are forced to repeat the year if they do not pass the tests.



Even though it could prevent four years of struggling or failure, the city will not allow the preventive measure of an extra year of pre-K. Children can get help only after they fail, which, by then, may be too late.



Doesn't it seem backward not to allow children a better start but only later require remediation? Doesn't it seem financially foolish to save money early when it will cost more later?



Can't we allow teachers and parents, who know children best, to make this judgment call and help more children succeed?



Carol M. Gross is a staff developer, Center for Universal Pre-K, Bank Street College.



Carol M. Gross


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