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    School assignment plan is pinned to a fantasy

    Tone deaf best describes the Globe’s conclusions on Boston school assignment. The Jan. 29 editorial “School plans tweak status quo, but bold change is needed” shuts out the jarring sound of doors to opportunity slamming in the faces of poor children. Instead, we get a harmonic fantasy where children skip with their neighbors to nice schools in thriving neighborhoods. Except if you’re black or Hispanic, where you throw the dice and maybe catch a bus to the one oversubscribed citywide school, a decent charter school, a suburban METCO school, or the mirage of a No Child Left Behind transfer.

    How do you get people to listen? Playing back their words sometimes helps. “Quality of life is often determined by zip code.” So said Globe columnist Lawrence Harmon in a recent op-ed. That sad truth is why essentially cordoning off schools into racially and economically segregated neighborhoods would be a major step back.

    Mary Battenfeld

    Jamaica Plain