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Putting off the first day of school

July 11, 2006

Re " 'Academic Redshirting' Is Getting a Mixed Report Card," July 5

Delaying schooling for California students born between September and December can hardly be called "redshirting." Parents who delay sending their 4-year-olds to kindergarten are merely keeping them on track with other students throughout the nation.

In most states, if a child is not 5 by the day school starts, he or she must wait a year to enroll. Most 4-year-olds are too immature to have a positive and healthy experience in kindergarten.

Although it may be of benefit to a parent who does not have to pay for preschool, it is a detriment to the child, the teacher and the other students when too many 4-year-olds take up too much class time because they are too young to spend so many hours in a structured academic environment.

E.R. MARSHALL

Laguna Niguel

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I have a November-born son who's now 15. He started kindergarten at age 4. He was one of the smaller kids because there were so many children who had already turned 6, but by third or fourth grade, he was in the middle of the pack. Kindergarten was a bit of a challenge, but my son will be entering his junior year of high school having started taking college courses this last spring and this summer.

Smart kids are smart kids. Making them wait one more year is not going to make them do any better.

ANGEL ZOBEL-RODRIGUEZ

San Fernando

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