Letters to the editor Pittsburgh is squandering the asset of educationThere is no doubt that most of the "leaders" are clueless as to what happens in the lives of families in this region. Clueless.
The vote by the Pittsburgh Board of Education is sad and distressing ("School Board Votes to Close Schenley Building," June 26). As a parent of two Schenley graduates and one more who attended her first two years, I am convinced that no one in positions of power ever really got it in Pittsburgh.
When we moved to the city from Chicago in 1989, we were thrilled. The Pittsburgh schools were considered by most objective sources to be the finest urban schools in the nation, thanks to the vision of Richard Wallace and the dedication of the district's teaching corps. As each year passed we saw how the district progressively lost its edge through bickering, politics and small-mindedness. Middle-class families with the ability to leave did. We came to Pittsburgh for the schools and left for the same reason.
Schenley was a beacon of hope -- a school that combined class and race, academic achievement and athletics, arts and science at a level that was hard to rival even in the suburbs. The district has failed, over and over again, to explain how the spirit of Schenley will somehow be replaced in the "new" plan. The ludicrous notion that combined middle and senior high school programs make any educational sense will only further push what is left of Pittsburgh's middle class out of the city altogether. The downward spiral of the city's neighborhoods will continue, and history will record that it was the educational system that did it to us. This did not have to happen -- we did it to ourselves.
JOSEPH BUTE, Pine (and formerly of Pittsburgh)
Pittsburgh is at the brink because we treat our kids like dirt, or worse. It is getting worse.