Mary Battenfeld chose a singularly divisive way to advise Mayor Marty Walsh on how to unite the city (“New mayor has much to do before we become ‘one Boston,’ ” Letters, Jan. 9). Battenfeld sees inequities in the mayor’s allowing children from a charter public school to sing at his inauguration. Walsh has been supportive of all types of public education in the city, and should be praised for inviting children from two district and two charter public schools to participate. All of these children are Boston public schoolchildren.
Battenfeld decries “racial and economic inequality in our schools and neighborhoods,” but ignores the progress Boston charters are making in closing race- and income-based achievement gaps. Treating charter school children as pariahs does not advance a unifying agenda, unless “one Boston” consists only of people who see things her way.
The school department and Boston charters signed a compact two years ago that put an end to the “us v. them”
mentality, and has led to collaborative initiatives that will benefit all public schoolchildren.
Walsh is a conciliator who sees value in diverse views. By including both district and charter school children in his ceremonies, he is saying that all ideas on how to improve public education for all Boston children are welcome.