Hooray for the students of West High School in Torrance (Times, April 27) for realizing that test scores are not the perfect indicator of academic excellence!
As a Torrance parent with a child in kindergarten who was lured to the area by reports of academic excellence, I am unhappily aware of the emphasis Torrance schools place on test scores. They start in kindergarten teaching reading and arithmetic to the exclusion of nearly everything else. Early childhood education does not exist in Torrance. From day one children are being prepped for this test.
Even the Japanese, with whom we are mistakenly in fierce competition, do not start academics at such a tender age. They realize, as we do not, that young children learn differently than older ones do, and that hands-on experience is far superior to sitting at a desk wielding a pencil.
The test scores from Torrance schools reflect one thing: that Torrance children are taught to sit at a desk and put pencil to paper from the time they are 5 years old and that’s all.
KAREN D. HAMSTROM