Happily, the end of the District's search for a new school superintendent could be in sight -- or maybe not. But as a public school parent, I make this plea to whoever becomes the schools' new leader: Don't try to fix what is not broken.

Three of the District's public high schools were in U.S. News & World Report's rankings of the top high schools in the nation.

At the public Capitol Hill Cluster School, my children are flourishing, thanks to experienced teachers and administrators; small class sizes; specialized instruction in music, art, computer technology, science and reading; plus a high level of involvement by parents. These schools have good test scores and have received academic awards. Far from struggling with declining enrollment, the Cluster School has a waiting list.

But these factors, which persuaded me to stick with the public schools, are threatened by another round of budget cuts. District schools are being forced to abolish teacher positions. At our school this means increased class sizes and fewer teachers, as well as the elimination of music and art programs that were, until recently, part of the core curriculum.

City leaders should use successful schools as models of how urban public schools can work and spread this success to all D.C. schools. They should not undo what so many parents, teachers and students have achieved together. If they do, they risk losing the basis of strong neighborhoods in the nation's capital.

LISA M. TATE

Washington