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A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Responses to “Walking the Dream: Immigrant College Students Push for Reform” Jan. 29:
I check daily how those young people are doing by reading articles. You, young people are making American history. Walkers: you are truly giving the rest of the immigrants hope.
I admire their determination and lack of fear for what could easily happen if they end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. But immigration [reform], especially the Dream Act, has bipartisan support and could easily be passed, they are just lazy to do so. If they wait until November, the Republicans might take all the seats.
Response to “Dances With Space Smurfs: A Review of Avatar,” Jan. 29:
It’s true that Avatar depicts a lush and beautiful world threatened by rapacious capitalism that is saved by the spiritual local people and itself. But my immediate sense as I watched the film was sadness. I was sad because I knew that while the Na’vi would be successful and the military-industrial complex invaders of Pandora would be beaten back their real flesh and blood counterparts on Earth will not be. I see Avatar as a giant blue opiate pill for the masses. “Don’t worry the film says, everything will be alright in the end.”
IMPROVE ALL SCHOOLS
Response to “Taking the Public Out of Schools,” Jan. 29:
The problem is that New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Bloomberg are working so that few get a quality education. A quality education can be provided at a public school level and at a large school level. It just takes a type of turnaround that Bloomberg/Klein are not interested in trying including small class sizes at every level, an even distribution of students with disabilities, English language learners, straight from Rikers students, full funding for arts/after-school activities and increased pressure on parents for parental involvement beyond elementary school. All of this changes need to happen at once. Not just one aspect at each school. Until then, the deck is stacked against public schools and the statements being made about the quality of public school education are false and made on grounds of predetermined outcomes.
—You don’t get it
CAN’T MAKE THE GRADE
Response to “Inside Columbus High School,” Jan. 29:
This is an excellent article detailing how NYC Department of Education torpedoes big schools that perform well. When they perform well, what do you do? Change the rules by which you “grade” these schools — so all of the sudden they are under performing.
—Public School Supporter
Response to “The Faces of School Reform,” Jan. 29:
I think these are the faces of “reform schools,” not school reform. There’s nothing good going on for children and their parents in the majority of charter schools. Just the rich getting richer at the expense of the next generation of poor and middle class, who are being criminalized and prepared for factory work or the penal system; both of which continue to profit the wealthiest of our citizens — it’s a win-win for them, and a 50-year step back in history.
LIVING ON THE INSIDE
Responses to “City Cracks Down on Illegal Hotels,” Jan. 29:
I have lived through many years of illegal hoteling in a doorman building on the Upper East Side. It is not just happening in Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units. Most are tourists from out of the country. They are taught to say that they rented for a month. I worry about fire sanitation and security. The doormen of this building are usually the ones that check them in and they fear for their jobs if they don’t comply. At one time, I had 11 tourists on my floor. Most are short term. Keep up the good work and when I see something I always say something but the officials never get passed the doormen.