Sent to the Buffalo News, January 14
It's wonderful to know that kindergarten children in New York schools will be required to attain higher standards in math and know how to "interpret literature from a wide variety of genres and a spectrum of American and world cultures" ("More math required for students in kindergarten," Jan 13).
It's especially exciting that New York wants to move beyond the wimpy national standards and impose tough standards on preschool children and prepare children for the rigors of kindergarten with hard work instead of idle play.
Let's move forward and take the next step: Set high standards for preschool entrance. Let's make sure parents follow strict, sequential standards in teaching their toddlers to count and develop pre-phonics skills.
The unfortunate tendency of children to want to play and enjoy themselves must stop, despite the claims of mushy-minded scholars who claim that play improves "social and emotional development," whatever that is.
Children should not be allowed to behave like children.
President, Kindergarten Kalculus Association
Author of "Phonemic awareness training for prelinguistic children: Do we need prenatal PA?" Reading Improvement 35: 167-171, 1998