* Re "Educational 'Progress' Leaves Youths Behind," letters, April 16: Yes, parental involvement is the most important single factor in a student's academic success. But the vast majority of parents care deeply about the education of their children. Poor parents often work long hours and are forced to leave their children in day care from early in the morning until very late in the afternoon. Many of them also go to school, which leaves them even less time to spend with their children.
I teach kindergarten in one of the worst-performing schools in L.A. Unified (107th Street Elementary). I have no control over what happens to my children after kindergarten. A teacher can encourage parents to help their children academically by building strong relationships with them and by making very specific suggestions. But some of the parents of my kids are too busy just trying to survive.