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Neighborhood base will not solve woes of ailing schools

The editorial “School plans tweak status quo, when bold change is needed” (Jan. 29) is based on the premise that neighborhood schools will solve the woes of underperforming schools. There is no evidence that this is true.

Neighborhood schools may increase parent involvement and local business support in some schools, but in Boston’s most disadvantaged communities, this will not be the case. In fact, for many of the city’s underperforming schools, more than 60 percent of families come from the neighborhood, yet parents face too many stressors and businesses face too many debts to be the elixir that will solve these schools’ ills.

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Were we to move to neighborhood schools, the schools in privileged communities would grow stronger, while effectively pricing out anyone from outside the neighborhood. Meanwhile, schools in less advantaged areas would weaken, and anyone with resources to provide to these schools would escape to more palatable options.

Until all our neighborhoods can offer strong schools, Boston must continue to allow access to the most precious right, a right to a good education, to all our children, no matter where they live.

Megan Wolf

Jamaica Plain

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