Letter: In debt to the Office of New Haven and State Affairs

The Feb. 27 article “Recruiting: Should Yale target locals?” is the latest in the Yale-bashing phenomenon that seems pervasive in New Haven, ironically coming this time from within the University.

I can’t speak to the details of Yale’s admissions policies, but to imply that Yale doesn’t do enough for New Haven and the New Haven Public Schools is just plain wrong. The Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School has had long-standing active partnerships with many schools and departments within the University, including the School of Music, School of Drama, Art Gallery, Center for British Art, Art and Architecture, Yale New Haven Teacher Institute, Beinecke Library, Sterling Library, Yale Repertory Theatre and Dwight Hall, among others. These connections bring Yale faculty and students to our school and bring our students to the University for more than just tours. Our students take courses at Yale ranging from calculus to music theory. They study foreign languages. They write plays that are produced at Yale. Ongoing projects engage our students and faculty in ways that challenge our thinking and expose us to the richness of the world outside the classroom. The generosity Yale has shown us by helping to improve student achievement, increase college preparedness and strengthen our curriculum cannot be overstated.

We are deeply indebted to Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs, and Claudia Merson in particular, for overseeing these partnerships, giving us (and many other New Haven schools) access to the many opportunities that Yale has to offer and providing counsel and assistance on issues ranging from staffing to curriculum to direct student support. Not aggressive or proactive enough? I don’t think so. The access to the world of the University and the curriculum strength that these programs provide are invaluable. Do we, as a school, need to better prepare our students to achieve at a level expected by Yale? Absolutely. The efforts listed are a huge step toward achieving this goal and toward enabling students to enter Yale if they choose. The tone of the article did nothing to promote this process.

Keith Cunningham

March 7

The writer is the arts director at Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School.

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