[ProgressiveEd] Revised Cover Letter About Waivers

Jane Bedell [email protected]
Sat, 01 Mar 2003 14:52:43 -0500

Bruce, et al--
Great re-write.
Personally, I like the tone of this letter much better and it feels like 
you've been able to get the major points across.  Two very small edit 
1.  Have the final paragraph be the two last two lines (ie don't mix them 
with the previous paragraph)
2.  I would not say at the end "the first step...".  Who knows?  Maybe Joel 
Klein thinks that he has already made many steps towards recognizing us and 
we just don't know about it.  In any event, I would suggest that it read 
"An important step is to grant our waiver  requests."
--On Saturday, March 01, 2003 2:20 PM -0500 [email protected] wrote:
> This is a reworked version of the cover letter.  Please make any
> suggestions  right away.  The letter will be finalized and sent out
> Monday morning before  12 noon.  Thanks.  Bruce Kanze
> Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Klein, Diana Lam, and Regional
> Superintendents:
> We applaud you for taking decisive steps to turn around education in New
> York  City.  We agree that change is necessary and that accountability is
> a major  part of making our schools successful.  We agree with Chancellor
> Klein�??s  efforts to create smaller school communities and support his
> commitment to  autonomy for schools that can demonstrate that they�??re
> successful.
> Over thirty years ago, the cutting edge of public school reform arose in
> New  York City.  At that time, a pair of provocative ideas �?? small
> schools and  school choice �?? generated wide ranging discussions that
> soon became part of  the national lexicon surrounding effective public
> schooling.  These ideas  have achieved prominence, gaining even more
> adherents than the charter or  voucher movements.
> These small schools exist only because parents choose them.  Every year,
> parents seek to enroll their youngsters in these �??alternative�??
> schools in  numbers that far outstrip the current capacity of these
> schools.
> What distinguishes these small schools?
> �?� A degree of autonomy in terms of staffing, curriculum, school
> structure,  and program,
> �?� Support for parental, student, and staff choice,
> �?� Small size, so that students, parents, and staff can be known by one
> another,
> �?� Cohesive vision,
> �?� A wide range of learners, including recently arrived immigrant
> students and  children with special needs (a non-exclusive admissions
> policy), �?� Students who are critical thinkers and activist citizens in
> a democracy, �?� Extensive parent involvement and collaborative
> relationships, �?� Shared leadership among staff and parents,
> �?� Peer staff development,
> �?� Authentic methods of assessment.
> Our schools are very successful when measured by:
> �?� the achievements of our graduates,
> �?� the level of parent participation,
> �?� the diversity of the student body,
> �?� the level of staff development and commitment,
> �?� the creative and engaging curricula,
> �?� the relationship of trust between teachers and students.
> We feel strongly that using results from standardized tests to measure a
> school�??s success is limited, at best.  We envision for our school
> system an  educational experience where children are treated with respect
> and dignity,  where they develop minds open to exploration and inquiry,
> where teachers are  dedicated and fulfilled, where all children are
> engaged and challenged, and  where children who have historically been
> excluded from opportunity are  deliberately included.  We hope you share
> our vision and that you will do all  in your power to enable us to
> continue to do this extraordinary work and to  create more schools like
> ours.  The first step is to grant our waiver  requests.
> Sincerely,
> Bruce Kanze
> For the Progressive Education Network of New York
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