[ProgressiveEd] sample letter sent from a parent

Jane Bedell [email protected]
Thu, 06 Feb 2003 21:56:44 -0500

Hello all-
Here's a letter I e-mailed to Joel Klein, Diana Lam and the person I 
believe will be the Regional Superintendent for the school my child is in 
(well, at least until we set up our learning zone or small school region or 
whatever it will be.....).  If other parents want to use it as a start for 
e-mails/letters, please feel free.
(parent of first-grader at CPE-2 and graduate of City-As-School, 1974)
Dear Chancellor Klein, Deputy Chancellor Lam, and Regional Superintendent 
Shelley Harwayne,
I am writing because I want to let you know about my child's school, 
Central Park East-2.  This is a small school currently in Community School 
District Four which emphasizes individualized approaches to learning and 
teaching, and which functions as a real learning community.
We already have many of the features that you and others have described as 
key elements of a good learning environment.  The classrooms have small 
libraries, the teachers are supported by the Director, the curriculum is 
driven by the needs of the students, and the assessment process reflects 
the complexities of our children as learners.
I am writing to you now because I am concerned that the sweeping changes 
that you are recommending for the school system as a whole may overlook the 
tremendous successes and innovations that help make CPE-2 a wonderful place 
for my child to grow and learn.  When we went looking for a good public 
school for my son (now in first grade), we wanted just this kind of school. 
Every small, progressive public school we visited told us the same thing: 
there are more applicants for our school than seats available.  Over and 
over I wondered:  why can't we have a school system that supports these 
small schools and looks to them to be the education leaders for the city. 
Parents should be supported in having a choice of schools for their 
children.  We feel very fortunate that our son was accepted into CPE-2.
Although my son has to ride a bus for an hour each way (we live in the 
Bronx), we feel that this is worth it for the kind of education he is 
I hope that you will consider schools such as CPE-2 as you work to improve 
the entire system.  I believe that this school and many others like it 
represent an important choice for myself and many families in NY.