Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fred Smith Tribute: Leonie Haimson Matters

Class size matters, and so does Leonie.
Posted to the Change the Stakes listserve:

Dear Leonie,

Hail to you, the People's Queen (not to be confused with Leona, the Queen of Mean).  You deserve accolades and bouquets--but we know you'll never stop to take a bow.

You prove that less is more--as in tireless, fearless, relentless--in your fight for quality public school education for all children.
You are a compass seeking the truth and courageously speaking it in the corridors of power.  Every day you inform us and inspire us to push on. 
You are a one-person news bureau that all of Tweed's press officers can't touch.  You leave no pineapple unturned. You report what you find without fear or favor.
Congratulations on the milestone you have just reached--The 4,000th edition of your NYC Education News Digest.  That's 4K, folks.  In 2012 alone you put together 544 of them and 632 the year before--alerting us to important educational issues, events and efforts.  How's that for prodigious!
If each digest contains and average of ten items (a conservative estimate) that represents about 12,000 entries in two years, ranging from snippets to lengthy pieces--volumes of them uncovered and contributed by you--as well as threads of responses. Each digest is food for thought and action, inviting us to pursue topics of interest, exchange ideas and connect with kindred spirits. 
And while you were generating all this material, you somehow maintained the New York City Public School Parents blog, spearheaded the battle for smaller classes, organized and attended meetings, did radio and television interviews, spoke at hearings and forums, freely shared your knowledge with advocacy groups and anyone interested in improving the schools, critiqued a few movies, served as a go-to resource for savvy reporters and never stopped digging for answers.
You know what matters the most.
Fred Smith

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