Calif. Ballot Initiative Offers Pre-K Compromise

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To the Editor:

In an ideal world, Samuel J. Meisels’ argument for educational intervention beginning at birth would not be needed ("Universal Pre-K: What About the Babies?," Jan. 25, 2006). Parents would all be willing and able to provide the kind of pre-K experiences that pay off in continuing academic achievement.

Since that’s not the case by a long shot, the best we can hope for is a compromise between Mr. Meisels’ proposal and the kind of program that the actor/activist Rob Reiner is championing in California. His Preschool for All measure, which is slated for the June 6 statewide ballot, has its faults, but it marks an important step in recognizing the potential of reaching children at an age when they stand a chance of overcoming the circumstances of their environment.

If Mr. Reiner’s initiative is approved and is implemented properly—two big ifs—subsequent measures along the lines that Mr. Meisels supports will stand a far better chance of becoming a reality.

Walt Gardner
Los Angeles, Calif.

Vol. 25, Issue 22, Page 33

Published in Print: February 8, 2006, as Calif. Ballot Initiative Offers Pre-K Compromise

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