Thursday, June 4, 2009

Letter to Chancellor Klein

If you haven't written to the chancellor about the D3 high school issues, here is a copy of my letter, which you can use as a template. You can take off the last paragraph about Beacon if you don't agree or change anything to reflect your views. I put links to Contact the Chancellor and Contact the Mayor on this blog and provided the e-mails of Scott Stringer, Gail Brewer, and Helen Rosenthal (Chair, Community Board 7) so it will be EASY FOR EVERYONE TO TAKE ACTION!!! See right side, scroll down.

The more we can make our opinions known, the more chance there is for change. 

As Malcom Gladwell said in The Tipping Point, “Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push—
in just the right place—it can be tipped.”


Dear Chancellor Klein:

I am the parent of a 7th grade student at a middle school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and we have just begun our NYC Public High School search process.

I am writing to express my concern that while five high schools in District 2 (D2) give preference to residents of that district, NO high schools in District 3 (D3) give preference to residents of D3.

Adding to this inequity, there are more good high schools in D2 than in D3. According to my preliminary research, there are at least 5 good high schools in D2 (which give preference to D2 students) and only Beacon in D3 (which I understand used to give preference to D3 students but currently does not).

I do realize that there is the new NYC iSchool (opened 2008) and schools forming in the Brandeis Complex (opening 2009 and 2010). I applaud your achievement in creating these new small schools and look forward to tracking their evolution. However, these schools have a very limited number of seats and are as yet unproven.

I think that every NYC district should provide multiple good schools and that the policy of giving preference to a district’s own students should be equal across all districts and all schools. Either give preference or don’t, but do it equally, and thus fairly.

As an advocate of community schools, my personal preference is that Beacon, our neighborhood Upper West Side public high school (approximately 275 seats per class) give preference to students graduating from our Upper West Side public middle schools: The Computer School, Delta, Mott Hall 2, Center School, Manhattan School for Children, etc. and that more good high schools are developed on the Upper West Side to take the pressure off of Beacon.

If this is not possible, then all D2 schools should be opened up to accept D3 students as well as D2.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.


District 3 Parent

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