[ProgressiveEd] my little correspondence with Diana Lam, FYI

Jane Bedell [email protected]
Tue, 11 Feb 2003 14:19:00 -0500

Hello all--
I did in fact send an email to Diana Lam and to Joel Klein and to Sheley 
Harwayne (who is said to be our new regional district chief).  Got back a 
response yesterday from Diana Lam and replied to that.  Here, FYI, is our 
little conversation.
Dear Diana Lam-
Thanks for a real reply.  I look forward to learning more about the
core curriculum, and the factors that will go into measuring
success for our children and our schools.
Best regards,
Jane Bedell
Quoting Lam Diana <[email protected]>:
> Thank you for writing.  Our goal is to establish a learning community in
> every school in the city.  We are also committed to addressing
> the needs of all of our students.  The core curriculum we have selected is
> not prescriptive and it leaves ample room for teacher judgment in
> addressing the individual needs of students.  We are glad that Central 
> East-2 is already engaging in practices that we think ought to be
> widespread across the city.
> D.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jane Bedell [mailto:[email protected]]
> Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 9:13 PM
> To: Harwayne Shelley (02M000); Klein Joel I.; Lam Diana
> Subject: from a parent of a first grader at Central Park East 2
> 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 
> 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 
> small libraries, the teachers are supported by the Director, the
> curriculum is driven by the needs of the students, and the assessment 
> 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 
> 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 receiving.
> 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.
> Sincerely,
> Jane Bedell, MD