Julie Flapan's desire for more creative learning experiences for children is laudable, but teachers are hamstrung by requirements to teach to tests and forgo "frills" like read-alouds, art and music. Until something changes, parents need to deal with "what is" rather than what might be better.
It was to have been my first day of first grade. My father took me into our den, closed the sliding doors and informed me that I would be repeating kindergarten. I was devastated then, and certainly on some level this event left its mark on my self-esteem as I was growing up. I felt out of place being almost 19 when I graduated high school.
Today, I occasionally joke about how I flunked kindergarten and chose to go to morning and afternoon sessions to make me feel more like a first-grader. It is only recently that I've learned about other children entering school later because of their birthdays. I always thought I was the only one.
Flapan doesn't imagine things from the child's perspective; even if things are very different today, it's something to think about.
Has anyone considered the fact that some boy or girl has to be the youngest in his or her kindergarten class? If that's a forecast for failure, how long will it be before we have 8- or 9-year-olds being enrolled in kindergarten, hoping to have the advantage?
Re "E-book overkill," Opinion, April 16
How can competition drive down prices if there is collusion between the publishers? Apple is trying to maintain its control over content.
Bringing together all the major publishers and "suggesting" that, yes, they can afford to pay Apple's egregious fee on the sale of e-books through its store is like Henry Kissinger telling the Saudis that, yes, they can afford to buy our planes and other arms, and all they have to do is raise the price of oil. Ultimately, consumers pay the price.
I defy Shermer to prove to me that it is as expensive or more expensive to sell a reproduction of a digital file as it is to distribute a physical book.
Re "Plot thickens in tax reform theater," Column, April 17
Columnist Michael Hiltzik writes, "The Buffett rule may not solve the federal deficit or do much to stem rising income inequality."
If it is government's role to limit income inequality, it would be simpler and quicker to eliminate most inequality by passing a law limiting personal income to something reasonable; say, $1 million a year. That would remove incentives to take on risky endeavors.
As a result, everyone's income would rapidly be brought down to a much narrower spread. Class and culture distinctions would be significantly reduced.
Those entrepreneurs who feel some need to follow their own pursuit of happiness would be free to go somewhere else, where wealth is regarded as a sign of success rather than a social ill.
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates set the wrong example by hugely profiting from their work, thus setting unreasonable expectations for the rest of us.