The Julia Richman Complex

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Letter to the Editor:
Phyllis Tashlik | To the New York Times | July 4, 2006

To the Editor:

Re Letter to Editor (6/29) by Jennifer Raab concerning "Small Schools Show Concern Over Proposal to Swap Land" (6/28) Ms. Raab has a strange concept of "win-win." Destroying the Julia Richman Education Complex (JREC) and disrupting almost 1,900 students, overwhelmingly minority and immigrant, who consider it a second home is not what educators, parents, and community members call "win-win." Nor would tax-payers. Thirty million dollars were spent to make JREC, as the Gates Foundation claims, "the nation's best example of a multi-purpose campus," housing six small schools, a nursery, and an adolescent health clinic.

Nor would those who gave privately. Ms. Raab's proposal to destroy JREC proclaims: Beware -- contributions to public schools can easily be destroyed!

Ms. Raab decried home demolition in Fieldston, a private community, and obtained its landmarking. "Win-win" would mean Raab's showing the same concern about a precious public building.

JREC is state-of-the-art: It demonstrates what can be accomplished when the city, state, UFT, teachers, administrators, community groups, foundations, and private donors work together to support, not denigrate, public schools.

Phyllis Tashlik
Director: Center for Inquiry Teachers Center
New York, July 4, 2006

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