Letter: No commitment to pre-K programs

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Newsday's editorial "Pre-K program presents a golden opportunity" [Aug. 22] offers a positive view on state funding for full-day prekindergarten. However, the strings attached to the funding are not readily apparent. Many good programs ultimately fail due to a lack of long-term commitment, and reading between the lines of these state grants, one can see potential problems.

Research has firmly established the benefit of pre-K education, particularly for kids in high-needs districts. Now, tying these funds to demonstrating the worth of such programs will inevitably result in "high-stakes testing," which has been linked to negative consequences for both teachers and students.

By continuing to insist on this testing, state education officials are rapidly perverting education in pursuit of statistical "success," with teachers maneuvering to keep those numbers in line, rather than concentrating on what's best for children.

This problem, together with the lack of a true long-term commitment to pre-K education -- the money must be approved yearly -- makes the new program just a palliative. We are long overdue in making full-day pre-K as much a part of our educational system as K-12.

Stephanie Freese, East Meadow

Editor's note: The writer is an early childhood consultant.

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U.S. companies should pay share

The news story "Census: Wealth gap widened" [Business, Aug. 25] provides the best response to the letter writer who supported Walgreen Co.'s attempt to move to a foreign country for tax advantages, a move it later aborted ["Walgreen met with official intimidation," Aug. 25].

According to this census report, the median household net worth of the richest one-fifth of our population -- possibly the majority of the stockholders for whom the writer seems to believe companies have a fiduciary duty to maximize profits -- rose to $630,754 between 2000 and 2011. The net worth of the bottom 20 percent was a negative $6,029 -- and increase in indebtedness from negative $905 in 2000.

So much for the benefits to employees that the letter writer claims.

Companies that operate in the United States benefit from much that is supported by all of us -- for example, roads, the Internet, water supply, power grids. Companies have a responsibility to support these resources by paying their fair share instead of retreating to foreign tax havens.

Murray Wilkow, Old Bethpage

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Rich and poor should live apart

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Providing apartments for paying tenants and subsidized tenants in the same building is not a good idea ["Wyandanch: Rents released," News, Aug. 19].

The subsidized tenants will envy the lifestyle of the market-rate tenants, who will resent sharing the same address with subsidized tenants.

Affordable housing should be built separately. All people have an equal right to decent housing, but all people are patently not equal. Some are more beautiful, more intelligent, more athletic, more artistic, etc.

Americans have no problem recognizing these differences and rewarding them. Yet we want people to be housed together regardless of ability to pay?

Aurora Forte, Smithtown

Which neighbors help children in need?

The photograph "A child's suffering" [News, Aug. 20] showed a 10-year-old boy in Liberia suspected of having Ebola. He was surrounded by people in his slum community who were bathing and clothing him and giving him medicine. Do they know the danger of Ebola and likely death?

On another page the same day was an article "Outrage over kids plan" [News, Aug. 20]. The story was about border children who may be in the United States illegally, but they are here and deserve humane treatment.

Which group of people would you want to have as your neighbors? Those Liberians with little who knowingly risk their lives to help a sick and likely dying child, or those Long Islanders with much who will not even let others share -- with no threat to life -- some of their own bounty?

Is this really what we are about? Now it's children here illegally -- who's next?

Kathryn Meng, Westbury

Entenmann's was a Long Island treasure

For nearly 100 years on Long Island and 90 years in Bay Shore, there is little doubt that a good many Long Islanders could point to a family member who worked for the iconic Entenmann's bakery ["Leaving a bittersweet legacy," News, Aug. 24]. In the 1970s and 1980s, my brother-in-law proudly worked there.

I worked as the assistant food service director for Southside Hospital in the 1970s, and a grocery sales representative who also handled the Entenmann's account told me that the company insisted that every ingredient be of the highest quality available. Little wonder why the Entenmann's product was so highly desired.

As members of my family moved out of state, a visit by me was always accompanied by a request to "bring some Entenmann's." Another LI treasure is by the boards.

Jim McConville, Shirley

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