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School zone plans fly in face of Boston parents’ wish for quality

What a relief to finally have some answers about how the proposed Boston Public Schools rezoning models will affect access to quality schools (“Study finds inequities in schools’ zone plans,” Metro, Oct. 1). Using the city’s own data, Meira Levinson, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the mother of two students in the Boston system, shows that increasing the number of zones would further restrict the access many low-income communities have to quality schools.

As a parent with two children in the Boston schools, I find it frustrating that the city keeps beating the drum that parents’ number one goal is a school “close to home.” I’ve been to many Boston Public Schools meetings during this process where parents have expressed their primary goal as sending their children to a high-quality school. Somehow these responses don’t seem to make it into the school system’s reports.

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If “close to home” were the top issue, we wouldn’t have so many parents choosing METCO and charter schools, all of which take their children by means of publicly funded buses far from home.

A family’s zip code should not determine whether it is automatically shut out of high-performing schools. We all live and pay taxes in Boston, and all of our children deserve the same opportunity.

Harneen Chernow

Jamaica Plain

The writer serves on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Her views here are her own.

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