The principles we were building our school on, presented something potentially huge in education reform. These principles-parental choice, freedom to operate in a manner consistent with the needs of specific children, parent involvement, longer school days and a longer school year, merit compensation for teachers-could be a game changer for children of poverty. It was the growing sense of this possibility that re-energized us and gave us the strength to push on, for as long as necessary.
We both shared a common and basic belief: families of means can afford to send their children to private schools or relocate to an affluent neighborhood where public schools have greater resources. The poor cannot. We recoiled against this injustice. We made it our own struggle.
Joe and Carol Reich
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Elementary School 241 Emerson Place Brooklyn, NY 11205