From: Jonathan Kozol To: Steve Zimmer

School Board Member, L.A.U.S.D.

Subject: The Re-Election of an Enlightened Educator

Dear Mr. Zimmer,

March 3, 2013

I’ve been one of your strong admirers in the education world for a good while now. I’m writing to tell you and my many friends in Los Angeles that I think your voice is terribly important in defense of public education at a time when it is under fierce and irrational attack from those who would replace it, as much as they can, with charter schools and other private or semi-private institutions.

This issue is all the more important in light of the fact that many, if not most, charter schools are incapable or serving children with special needs — or, in order to boost their test-scores artificially, refuse to serve these children.

I’m also glad you’ve courageously resisted the political demand to judge the value of our teachers according to their students’ grades on standardized exams — a practice, as many members of the U.S. Senate have belatedly observed, simply drives beleaguered teachers to drill their students for the tests instead of giving them a rich and broad curriculum that incorporates those aspects of our culture that can never be reduced to numbers.

For these and other reasons, I thank you for your loyalty to children. I whole-heartedly support you.

Sincere Regards,

Jonathan Kozol