Re: Kay Gilliland re: request for info by Schichor

Marty Henry (
Fri, 12 Dec 97 09:40:17 -0700

Kay, I think in addition to money, it is also committment to a vision.
I was visiting with members of our Governing Board last night who had
just done a site visit to an elementary school in St. Louis sitting
among shuttered, burned out, and boarded up homes. They walked into a
school whose staff and faculty were committed to being a safe place
for children and families to be and learn. Floors were sparkling,
students were called by name as they walked down the hall, families
and students could enter the library and take any book they wanted
without checking it out. They knew that they could return it or keep
it. THe reason? Each home should have a book and each family, if they
wanted to keep it, should have the opportunity to read it over and
over until it falls apart and then come back for another if they want
to. Of course the school lost books, but most were returned so that
students could share them with others.

I would put this public school...not a part of the magnet
program...all black...extremely low SES...high achievement on
standardized tests...longevity of the teachers and staff...up against
many private schools when compared with the success of the students.
They probably won't go to ivy league colleges, but the distance they
have come is remarkable.

Marty Henry

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Kay Gilliland re: request for info by Schichor
Author: <> at Internet-Mail
Date: 12/11/97 1:32 PM

I agree concerning the advantages of diversity in our classrooms. I would add
that economic diversity is probably the one we are most unlikely to support,
yet it is crucial and must be included. The class of schools that is most
unlikely to exhibit diversity is the private school, yet more and more parents
are choosing this avenue. Often, when I observe a private school I find they
are everything I would want a school to be except diverse. Some are diverse
in every way but economic. How can we make our public schools as inviting as
private schools and keep (and further develop) the diversity of public
schools? It is money, no question, but it is also more than money. We have a
long way to go.

Kay Gilliland

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