As a fellow alumnus of The Bronx's P.S. 96 and Christopher Columbus High School, as well as of New York's City College, I salute Scheer's evocative recollection of the past and his perceptive portrayal of the present.
Scheer's sensitive understanding of the problems facing public education, in New York, and in all urban centers, is in itself a tribute to the education he received and for which he has repaid society many times over.
And that's the main point: those in politics and in power who starve public education for the children of the poor in the name of fiscal conservatism are shortsightedly cheating the nation of untold contributions that might be made by countless "dropouts" and push-outs.
The Bronx may no longer harbor the "unreasonable hope" that Scheer recalls from the '50s and I from the '40s; yet, there is much reason for hope in the commitment of P.S. 96's Martin Unterberger, Columbus' Grace Rosa, City's Quonset-hut activists. Those who, like Scheer, "majored in social commitment," must surely triumph over the uncaring. The alternative is unthinkable.
HAROLD (HERSHL) HARTMAN