Letters to the Editor

'Criminal neglect'

Let us consider a vital portion of the No Child Left Behind Act that has been woefully neglected: the home contribution.

Recently, a kindergarten teacher shared with me that a student in her room came to her never having held a pencil or a crayon, not knowing his colors and never having sat to listen to a story. What a shame for that child, I thought. Then she shared with me that 80% to 90% of her students come in a similar state of unpreparedness. What a tragedy for society!

Not only are these students about two years behind in what they know, but their brains have been numbed by a lack of the stimulation necessary for normal development. How could a parent neglect to delight in sharing the world with a toddler? How could a parent allow the precious cargo of brain cells entrusted to him or her to lie fallow for five years?

Instead of castigating teachers, most of whom are dedicated and hard-working, we must address the criminal neglect that is happening daily in too many homes.

Carol Fleisig