The child strained to complete a bite-size puzzle. She manipulated and fussed and, after several tries, finally figured it out. The instructor watched and smiled passively as the 6-year-old looked up, awaiting words of approval. But the praise never came.
I was taken back to this scene, played out at a Montessori school six years ago, when I recently saw that Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, denied an altogether reasonable request by the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) to send a “positive reinforcement” letter to retailers who pass the agency’s compliance inspections.