• School's Out for Summer

    David Von Drehle's cover story makes a case against summer vacation [Aug. 2]. But one might just as easily conclude that if summer "stealth learning"--in which kids are having fun and don't even know they're being educated--lasted all year long, children would do better than they do in the deadly dull test-prep factories that our schools have become.

    Della Peretti, OAKLAND, CALIF.

    Let's just add more anxiety and performance pressure to our children's lives. Having raised healthy adult daughters--who experienced the downtime of a happy, restful summer, playing outside until the streetlights came on--I treasure my grandson's summer days of playing trains for hours and splashing in the pool.

    Cheri L. Calsetta, GREAT FALLS, MONT.

    During the summer, most public libraries have special reading programs for children. There are story times, author visits and special events, all intended to entertain children and encourage them to keep reading during their vacation--and it's all free!

    Roz Rubinstein, WATERFORD, CONN.

    Von Drehle assumes that camps and museum tickets can close the education gap--and in the process he stereotypes low-income families. Money doesn't close the gap; good parenting does. My family maintains a low income because we prioritize time with our child over time spent at work. Our literate 2-year-old is proof that parental interaction is more important than socioeconomic status.

    Juniper Russo Tarascio, GADSDEN, ALA.

    I was delighted to see yet another fine illustrated cover on TIME. Please tell me this return to art is the sign of a trend.

    Tony Gleeson, LOS ANGELES

    Beyond the Beltway

    If Joe Klein believes things are really not so dire in the Democratic camp, he must be spending all his time in New York City or inside the Beltway, places where folks tend to political delusions ["Apocalypse Not," Aug. 2]. Klein supports another stimulus package and cites a Republican smear campaign? Really? He is not objective.

    Colonel Colin McArthur, U.S. Army (ret.), ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C.

    Why can't people cut the President some slack? Do they remember what he was handed? Did they expect the economy to rise out of the ashes in the first year? Obama is obviously committed to health care, the economy and other concerns. He's not out playing golf, vacationing at Camp David or quitting halfway through his term like certain governors we know.

    Randy Pettit, ELYRIA, OHIO

    That's So Very Jerry

    Jerry Brown has said it himself, in so many words: Been there, done that ["The Once and Future Governor?" Aug. 2]. It's time we move on from recycled career politicians. How refreshing it would be to elect someone new who knows how to create wealth. Plus, California has yet to have a woman governor.

    Mary Ann Vigilanti, OAKLAND, CALIF.

    Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts or samples before recycling