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Monday, March 9, 2009

One Parent's Response to NY Times Article

Ms. Gootman,

It is truly unfortunate that your article on Chancellor Klein (Taking Sides on New York 's Chancellor, March 6) misses the point. Most of us, parents, are not fighting against Mr. Klein's values. We do not question his intent and motivation. Surely only a truly dedicated person can take on the job of the Chancellor in this city. Many of us also understand that sometimes unpleasant decisions must be made for the greater good. We are not fighting because we don't like the decisions Mr. Klein makes: what we are fighting for is democracy.

Mr. Klein has made most of his decisions without consulting the people who actually know a thing or two about education and children -- parents, teachers, and administrators. When one man makes all the decisions without public input, that is not democracy. Democracy is hard work. It is much easier to take a top-down, dictatorial approach when policy changes are made, as Mr. Klein has done in his haste to reform the system. But educating our children is worth every bit of hard work and deserves the time and effort a democratic process requires.

It is peculiar to read Ms. Rhee quoted as saying that Mr. Klein " ... doesn't try to act like he knows everything." With parents of New York City , he has certainly acted as if he knows best and that we should leave him be to do whatever he wishes. No education reform will succeed if you eliminate meaningful participation by parents.

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