fb-pixel Skip to main content
LETTERS

Focus should be on many years of education that precede exam-school moment

Kristin Johnson, of Boston, stood in the foreground with other counterprotesters on Oct. 18, 2020, across the street from a rally outside of Boston Latin School that called for Boston schools to keep the admission exam in place for entry into exam schools.
Kristin Johnson, of Boston, stood in the foreground with other counterprotesters on Oct. 18, 2020, across the street from a rally outside of Boston Latin School that called for Boston schools to keep the admission exam in place for entry into exam schools.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

As a Brookline resident whose children have long left their schooling behind, I have no direct stake in the controversy over admission to Boston’s storied exam schools, and I understand the justification for each of the competing criteria — exam scores, grades, and ZIP codes (“Panel considers lottery for exam school admission,” Page A1, June 15).

We need to think not just about admissions processes but about everything that precedes them. Perhaps we could avoid future battles by looking beyond admissions for 2022 to admissions for 2032. If we were to ask what we can do — for example, reduce child poverty, improve neighborhood schools, provide universal high-quality preschool — to level the playing field for all children, then future groups of students admitted to exam schools on the basis of academic achievement and potential would be much more representative of Boston in terms of race, ethnicity, and neighborhood.

Advertisement



Making such investments in all of our children’s futures would be neither easy nor cheap, but it would help to deliver on the American dream of equality of opportunity.

Kay L. Schlozman

Brookline

The writer is the Moakley Professor of Political Science at Boston College.