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[Susan notes: Ask a New York City how accurate this is.]

Published in New York TImes

To the editor

Re "Some Schools Grow and Suffer as System Favors the Small,'' by Samuel G. Freedman (On Education, Nov. 10):

Overcrowding in our schools is a longstanding challenge that deserves attention, but the fundamental issue is that New York City lacks sufficient high-quality educational options. The new small schools are part of the solution, not, as Mr. Freedman suggests, the problem, in a system with chronic capacity constraints.

This year, new small high schools created more than 1,000 new seats in Manhattan alone. These schools are academically rigorous and have higher than average daily attendance rates.

Early signs from small schools that opened recently in the Bronx indicate that grade promotion rates will be higher than those in the schools they replaced.

None of the new schools that opened this year screen for academic proficiency or have other competitive entrance requirements.

Creating more of these small high schools, along with other of our Children First reform efforts, is helping us build a system of schools worthy of our 1.1 million children.

Joel I. Klein, Chancellor, NY City Department of Education

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