February 17, 2004
Changes in Suburbia
To the Editor:
Re "In Middle Age, L.I. Suburbs Show Wear" (news article, Feb. 12):
While clearly defining the changing Long Island labor and housing markets, your article understates the effects on Long Island schools. Increasing immigration and a higher birth rate among nonwhites are changing the face of suburban schools. Ethnicity data show a pattern toward greater diversity, especially in those school districts that are adjacent to large cities or have a longstanding minority population.
The continuing success of suburban schools, and the viability of Long Island as a quality place to live, will depend on the leadership shown by government leaders at all levels in meeting this new challenge.
MARC F. BERNSTEIN
Superintendent of Schools, Valley Stream Central High District
Valley Stream, N.Y., Feb. 12, 2004
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