Mailbag: Kindergartners should be 5

I agree with Marlene Walker ("Think of the kids, not the money," June 17) that the age for children starting kindergarten should rise to 5 years old.

A few more months of maturity can go a long way to help children adjust to the academics in Glendale Unified School District kindergartens. Contrary to Walker's statement that "kindergarten has much playtime and not too much learning," our kindergartens have become much more rigorous in order to comply with state standards. As a former kindergarten teacher and current substitute teacher for Glendale Unified, I can attest that much learning takes place, and playtime is limited during the kindergartner's day.

What I disagree with the most are Walker's assumptions about why parents decide to start their children in kindergarten prior to age 5. Her statements about single mothers are negative and judgmental. These subjective comments have no place in deciding effective education policy.

Glendale is fortunate to have quality kindergartens. Who is to say that parents who decide to start their children in kindergarten prior to the age of 5 are not doing so in order to give them every educational advantage?

It is the job of policymakers to guide when the optimal entrance into kindergarten should occur, which I do believe is age 5. Meanwhile, parents should not be blamed for "dumping" their children into an environment where they hope that they will learn and grow.



Tongue-in-cheek take on Arizona law

For an individual to be asked by police to show identification must indeed be a very traumatizing experience ("A clear misread of the Constitution," June 1). It must be worse than learning that a loved one has been killed by someone here illegally who could have been detected and detained or deported.

Could that be the reason for the protests and boycotts against Arizona?



Daughter adored teacher being fired

I was saddened to read your article in the Glendale News-Press on Monday regarding Jennifer Pakradouni's dismissal ("Teacher sues district," June 22).

She is an excellent teacher who cares deeply for all the children in her classes. My daughter was a student of hers this past year and adored her.

What is so disturbing about her dismissal is that according to the assistant superintendent for human resources, John Garcia, it is because of a confidential personnel matter.

So a wonderful teacher can be fired for a matter that can't be made public? That just doesn't seem right.



Shopping center a good fit on Foothill

The new shopping center at the corner of Foothill Boulevard would be a helpful addition to the city ("Shopping center design under fire, June 21).

For too long, La Crescenta has not been seen as a hot spot in comparison to San Fernando Boulevard in Burbank, Brand Boulevard and the Americana at Brand in Glendale. As a resident of Glendale, I always assumed La Crescenta would eventually reach the level of these other attractive and top-dollar areas.

The time has finally come, and we should embrace many new projects in belief that they could be the beginning of a boom for other and future businesses around the area. Most importantly, the area will increase its potential to adopt a night life scene, which I believe is the bigger picture.

Unfortunately, the lack of neighbors who agree with expansion is causing a major lag to something that is inevitable. Hopefully, we can work together toward a prosperous La Crescenta, which will ultimately produce jobs for many people, especially the younger crowd, during this economic recession.



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