By dwelling on the words of those who criticize the superintendent for being "nonconfrontational," Marc Fisher mistakes a virtue for a fault {"Floretta McKenzie's School for Stability," Style, June 10}.

Mr. Fisher was not around here during the harrowing days when confrontation was the norm. Those of us with children in the public schools then yearned for stability. For more than a decade we suffered through constant turmoil, controversy and demagoguery -- with pitifully scant results for the students.

During the time our daughter moved from first grade in 1969 through 12th grade in 1981, there were nine superintendent changes, two major strikes with weeks of time lost from classes, two devastating reductions-in-force that eliminated 1,000 teachers (the result of budget confrontations with the mayor and the D.C. council) and a board of education whose antics made progress almost impossible.

Had it not been for some very dedicated teachers and principals, education in the District of Columbia could have ground to a halt.

Where are we now? All elementary schools are at or above grade level -- with junior and senior highs citywide almost there. We have a new pride of accomplishment among our students, a new spirit among our teachers and administrators. We have a board of education that, for the most part, goes about its job of policy and oversight quietly and cooperatively, rather than confrontationally.

In addition to kindergarten, we have full-day pre-kindergarten, something many school systems are only now addressing. We have 60 corporations supporting creative learning programs within our schools in public/private partnership efforts.

Above all we have, for the first time, full funding -- the result of superintendent, board and parent groups working together in a united front.

With this record of achievement, it is caviling to speak of Floretta McKenzie "backing off" anything. She is one tough lady, a gifted administrator who has restored order and pride to our school system. How badly we needed her earlier. How fortunate we are to have her still! WANDA WASHBURN Ward 3 Representative, D.C. Board of Education Washington

I would like to correct the erroneous statement that our superintendent of schools rarely speaks to students or parents.

Based on Parents United's experience with hundreds of parents and schools throughout the entire school system, it would be difficult to imagine a superintendent who could be more responsive to the needs of parents and their requests for her time. Superintendent McKenzie's support for parents and students and their involvement in the work of our schools is most laudable. It is a primary reason why parents and students have begun to play a far more active role in the efforts to improve our schools. VERNON SMITH Co-chair, Parents United for the D.C. Public Schools Washington