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I write to express my opinion on the great differences in test scores between white, Asian and black students.

I believe that much of this difference is the result of early childhood education. As a now-retired Chicago Public Schools certified physics, chemistry and mathematics teacher who often dealt with inner-city black students, it was my experience that many black youngsters, otherwise bright and capable, enter school without sound early preschool learning.

I was once in a totally black first grade and only one student, a girl, knew her alphabet, how to count and basic reading. Twenty-nine other black youngsters in the class had no early educational training on the alphabet, how to count nor the basics of reading.

My opinion is that many black youngsters enter first grade two years behind white and Asian students in this regard. We repeatedly observe many black students as superior athletes in basketball, football and baseball. Learning highly complex game routines and repeatedly making quick, correct game decisions are not within the capacity of slower-level humans.

These black youngsters are bright, but often they are not given a good preschool education, making it difficult for them to learn even standard elementary schoolwork as well as better preschool educated whites and Asians.

I also have found a massive elementary arithmetic deficit in decimals, long and short division, etc., in these otherwise bright black youngsters that prevents many of them from properly learning algebra, physics and chemistry besides reading. Nationwide preschool education is essential for all.

STEWART BREKKE

Downers Grove

News-Gazette