[ProgressiveEd] Draft of Letter to Chancellor Klein

[email protected] [email protected]
Sun, 23 Mar 2003 15:13:17 EST

Dear folks,
Here's a draft of a letter.  Please make suggestions and comments.  Thanks.  
                                    March 26, 2003
Dear Chancellor Klein:
Over the past two weeks, we've received a great deal of reassurance from you 
that you are aware of our schools and that you support our efforts to create 
small learning communities in which children can grow through their interests 
and activities.  Who are we?  We're PENNY, an organization of parents and 
educators in small, progressive elementary, middle, and high schools in New 
York City.  Our schools are working successfully with very diverse 
populations; we blend special education and general education students, often 
in creative inclusion arrangements.  Our priority is to support every student 
in the particular way each child learns.
We applaud your efforts to address the wide-ranging problems of the New York 
City public school system.  It is gratifying for us that you have agreed to 
meet with representatives of our organization.  We hope to map out a series 
of schools networks that can help to improve schools that are both in and out 
of our organization.  We will explain ways in which the work done in our 
schools exceeds the mandated curriculum.  We will share ways we know our 
students and build curriculum from that knowledge.
So, why are we demonstrating?  We're demonstrating our support for our 
schools.  We want it to be clear that our communities support the careful 
ways we work with children, and we want it to be known that our children are 
thinking and solving problems.  They're creating and planning.  We don't want 
to sacrifice any of this to rote instruction or imposed curriculum.
What does PENNY want?  oWe want our schools to be recognized as schools.  
(Many are officially programs or academies.)  oWe want to be placed in 
networks of like-minded schools with instructional superintendents who will 
support our educational decisions and ways of working.  And owe want 
permission to make decisions about the curricula we will develop in our 
classrooms.  With your support, we feel we'll be able to use your curriculum 
initiatives to extend the work we're doing.  And we'll be able to deepen 
already existing relationships with teaching colleges for staff development.  
We look forward to work with you in your efforts.