NEW CITY PLAN COULD REZONE UP TO 11 UPPER WEST SIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

rezoning7
Parents and educators had mixed reactions at a meeting Thursday to city proposals to rezone Upper West Side schools.

A mammoth proposal to rezone Upper West Side elementary schools that could affect hundreds of local students was presented on Thursday afternoon at a meeting of the school board and city Department of Education. If approved, the plan would go into place for Kindergartners entering school in 2017.

The plan is meant to ease overcrowding at popular schools in the district like PS 199 on 70th while also reducing inequality and segregation in the district.

“We have a real opportunity to equalize students and work towards goals of integrating city and district schools,” said Sarah Turchin, director of planning at the Department of Education.

The DOE actually presented two proposals.

One would move PS 452, which is now on West 77th Street, into the current PS 191 building on West 61st Street. That plan would result in new zones for 11 schools, from PS 191 at the southern end of the district to PS 165 at the northern end. It would affect students as far north as 116th Street. Some parents at 452 have resisted the move, in part because they don’t want to travel an extra 15 blocks with their kids. But the principal, several teachers, and other parents have expressed support, because the new school would give them more room and amenities. The map showing the lines is below. The current districts are highlighted in different colors, while the proposed new zones are outlined in black. Click it to enlarge.

rezoning plan1

The other proposal would result in PS 452 staying where it currently is, but it would shift zoning lines for 7 schools. See the map below.

rezoning plan2

In both proposals, the demographics of the schools at the southern end of the district would shift, so that students qualifying for free and reduced lunches would make up 17% to 20% of PS 191, PS 199 and PS 452.

Current students would all be grandfathered into their schools. And incoming siblings would continue to receive priority for their brother’s or sister’s school even after zones shift.

The proposal received a mixed response from parents who attended the meeting; it was, of course, a lot to digest and no one had looked at the maps beforehand.

Parents mostly had a lot of questions, asking whether the city had taken into account all the new construction in the neighborhood and what the classroom sizes would be in the schools after rezoning.

Lizabeth Sostre, a member of the District 3 Task Force on Equity in Education, said the district should be more bold about desegregating local schools. “In light of recent events in this country, why can’t we use this as an opportunity to desegregate all the schools in the district?” Sostre asked to a swell of applause from the audience.

Turchin replied “Decreasing segregation and increasing diversity is absolutely a priority and we see the opportunity to do that in the southern portion of the district based on where students reside. We have more of an opportunity in the southern part of the district than in the northern.”

Sostre said “Children need to learn how to be with each other, side-by-side, in their first schools. It’s a critical issue. If its not on the table now please put it on the table,” she added, to more applause and shouting.

School board Zoning Committee Chair Kim Watkins expressed support for the D3 Task Force on Equity in Education. “I believe in what you’re doing and what the task force is doing.”

A more detailed discussion and public comment period is expected to occur next Wednesday, July 20. The time and location has not been determined but we’ll update this when we hear more. Any vote on the proposals would likely occur in October or November so it can be included in the Kindergarten Connect online enrollment system for the 2017 school year. CEC is also working on a website where people will be able to comment.

“This is a high-level overview,” said Sarah Turchin. “We’ll be giving more detail next Wednesday.”

With reporting by Jessica Brockington.

NEWS, SCHOOLS | 93 comments | permalink
    1. carcar says:

      Jessica. Great clear writing but it’s Affect, not Effect when you are writing about what will happen to the kids….

      Friendly Amendment

      • Jessica Brockington says:

        Thanks carcar, always appreciate the feedback, but I didn t write it: “with reporting by …”

        Jessica

    2. dannyboy says:

      I support the objectives:

      “The plan is meant to ease overcrowding at popular schools in the district like PS 199 on 70th while also reducing inequality and segregation in the district.
      “We have a real opportunity to equalize students and work towards goals of integrating city and district schools,” said Sarah Turchin, director of planning at the Department of Education.”

      • Parent says:

        Before everyone freaks out – There are only just over 40 kids in each K-5 grade at 191 and only 82% of the children are disadvantaged. That’s about 34 kids per grade to be shared among 3 schools.

        If 199 is your concern, it will be even less than a 3rd of 34 kids because 199, which already has the Amsterdam NYCHA extension, is taking in less of the houses. With 5 or 6 classes per grade at 199, that’s less than 2 kids per class. What’s the big deal?

        Even if more kids score a 1 or 2 (out of 4) on the state tests than before (bringing the average down) – that doesn’t mean that a kid who would have gotten a 3 or 4 on the test will now perform worse. The educational research is conclusive here – this kind of diversity does not have adverse effects on high achievers.

    3. Anon says:

      These look fair. The only gerrymandering seems.to be to split the Amsterdam houses evenly among the three schools in the lower part of the district.

    4. Bill says:

      Both of these proposed plans essentially make PS199 a private school for new luxury rental buildings on Amsterdam at the expense of middle class coops and condos currently part of PS199. DeBlasio’s developer buddies who contribute to his causes get a segregated quasi-private school at the expense of everyone else.

      • Brandon says:

        PS 199 will get more of Amsterdam Houses and still has the Lincoln Towers buildings between Amsterdam and WE A. That is as much diversity as you can hope for in the neighborhood.

    5. Annoyed says:

      Do you all remember when the DOE / ECF was trying to demolish P.S. 199 / 191 and they picked the Co-Op Tech High School on the Upper East Side instead? Turns out that the winning bidder (AvalonBay Communities) was the client of the lobbying firm (MBI Gluckshaw) where CEC President Joe Fiordaliso was an equity partner at the time.

      Makes sense now why lobbyist Eric Shuffler and buddy lobbyist Joe Fiordaliso wanted 199 to take a “wait and see approach” to demolishing the school. It is as if they knew Fiordaliso’s firm’s client was going to win. Let’s all be glad they only got the East Side consolation prize and not one of our schools.

      http://therealdeal.com/2016/04/27/avalonbay-city-partner-on-1100-unit-mixed-use-project-on-ues/

      Search on 2013 and MBI Gluckshaw
      https://wwwnet1.state.nj.us/lpd/elec/AGAA/lobby_reports.aspx

      Capalino, who helped his client win the previous ECF project in 2011, explains how it works (lobbying to quell parental resistance)

      http://www.capalino.com/world-wide-holdings-inc/

      Capalino, like Joe Fiordaliso’s MBI Gluckshaw, was lobbying for AvalonBay Communities at the time too.

      These lobbyists are real stand up guys. Read about the deBlasio / Capalino investigations. Seems from the article that appointing lobbyists to boards is a common practice. Foolish UWS parents! After Fiordaliso was appointed (by Stringer) you elected this lobbyist to a second term.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/de-blasio-doled-appointments-spreadsheet-big-donors-article-1.2655041

      http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-neighbors-force-city-reveal-secret-school-expansion-plans-article-1.2705729

      • District 3 Parent says:

        Annoyed,

        What slanderous and irrelevant accusations you make(what does this have to do with rezoning anyway!?) about 2 men who have given generously of their time to try and make their children, and all of the children in District 3’s public schools better.

        I don’t know who you are or what your real life experience is, but I don’t know in what world you think a parent donating 25 plus hours a week to be PTA President of their children’s NYC elementary and middle schools (Yes, Eric Shuffler) or the CEC President (Joe Fordaliso) is done to help their NJ lobbying businesses or done for any professional benefit. Should a parent who happens to be a lobbyist not be permitted to volunteer on behalf of their kids’ schools?

        You have presented no evidence of any wrongdoing.

        I have worked closely over the years with both Joe and Eric on public school issues and find them to be looking out for the best interests of their respective constituencies without regard to any potential professional benefit. We are lucky to have parents willing to devote so much of their time to these issues, and ones that are also perhaps knowledgeable about how government and big bureaucracies work!

        I don’t know what axe you have to grind against Joe and Eric, but you sound to me exactly like one presumptive republican nominee also from NYC that engages in such tactics and sees everything as a conspiracy theory.

    6. Annoyed says:

      Want some breaking news? Did anyone see that lobbyist Eric Shuffler’s former partner Jamie Fox (from Fox Shuffler/ now River Crossings) was charged today for bribery by the U.S. Attorney’s Office? If convicted, he is looking at up to 5 years in jail.

      In case you haven’t been following the Bridgegate saga, United Airline’s lobbying firm, Fox Shuffler, orchestrated the illegal “Chairman’s flight” for former Port Authority Chairman David Samson.” Will Jamie Fox rat out his old boss Christie to save his hide? After all, it was Fox’s job to hush the NJ legislature. Stay Tuned…

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/nyregion/david-samson-chris-christie-george-washington-bridge-scandal.html?_r=0

      http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/07/nj_power_broker_jamie_fox_indicted_for_alleged_rol.html

      http://www.wnyc.org/story/christies-transportation-commissioner-democrat-was-back-room-lobbyist-bridgegate-2

      http://www.northjersey.com/news/outgoing-n-j-dot-chief-says-resignation-unrelated-to-united-airlines-probe-1.1426447

      Fed Supeoned emails (search on Eric Shuffler). Yes, Eric’s in the mix too…
      https://www.panynj.gov/corporate-information/foi/15787-O.pdf

      Why do we keep electing these lobbyists to head our education committees? (Shuffler as P.S. 199 and then West End Secondary School PTA Co-President, Co-Chair of Community Board 7’s Youth Education, and Libraries Committee…Fiordaliso as CEC President)

    7. Stephen says:

      So

      Current students would all be grandfathered into their schools. And incoming siblings would continue to receive priority for their brother’s or sister’s school even after zones shift.

      Is that priority one or some other priority?

      • Good question says:

        Good question. Would an out of zone sibling receive top priority at a school in which their older sibling currently attends

    8. nycityny says:

      It’s interesting that the plans take the 3 Lincoln Towers buildings on the west side of West End out of PS 199. And they also remove many of the Trump buildings from that school.

      The 205 WEA Lincoln Towers building is just down 70th Street from PS 199 so folks in that building wouldn’t be too happy.

    9. a. says:

      Can anyone tell me how it works if you live on the line itself? We live on the south side of 79th, between Amaterdam and Columbus. The top map re-draws the lines for PS87 (the school we are currently zoned for) and PS9 along 79th street. Do the zones break in such a way where the north side of the street is zoned one way and the south another way?

      • West Sider says:

        Yes usually the south side of the street goes to one school and the north side to the other.

        • Anon says:

          I was told at the meeting yesterday that if the zoning line running through the middle of your block is a straight line, then the north side of the street would go to the school to the north and the south side of the street would go to the school to the school. If there is a jagged/zigzag zoning line running through a specific block then both the north and south side of the street will go to the school in that zone.

    10. GRANDMA says:

      As a long time former NYC educator, I believe the only equitable way for all is to pool ALL the children from the affected schools, in the southern portion of the area being discussed, and to re-group into Three locations according to Grade.. So a Primary school, a Mid Grade school and a Higher grade level school. This way each grade would be thoroughly integrated, each child would have the opportunity to attend a newer facility and parents of all would be equally inconvenienced for a short period of time. This type of plan has worked well in other cities .. And SHOULD BE PROPOSED! It would be the ONLY FAIR METHOD FOR ALL!

    11. Eddie says:

      Option 1 is a hot mess. Option 2 seems to make some changes while keeping things closer to how they are presently (i.e. inconveniencing the fewest people). Though if I were in the upper west 60s near CPW I’m not sure how I would feel about either plan (luckily I’m not).

      I’m also curious to get more clarity on how grandfathering would work, both for current students and siblings. This is a very important part of people’s consideration of the system – they can’t have piecemeal approvals but rather need a cohesive, thorough plan for residents to fully evaluate.

      • anon says:

        Eddie – I completely agree. Option 1 is a total mess. Why move an entire school out of its neighborhood when you have a second option that achieves the same results.

        My understanding of “grandfathering” is this. Let’s use an example. Let’s say a child is currently zoned for an enrolled at PS 199. If that child’s street address gets rezoned to another school, that child has the continuing right to attend PS 199. If that child wants to go to his/her newly zoned school, then may apply and will only be admitted if there is space for them. If that child has a sibling entering school the year the rezoning takes place, their zoned school would be the new school (not PS 199), but they would have sibling priority at PS 199. I’ve been told that siblings typically get in to the school where their siblings attend but it is not guaranteed.

        Hope this is helpful.

        • J says:

          Why move PS452, you ask?

          It’s because PS452 currently shares an old building with two other schools. It would make sense for it to have it’s own buildings so it can expand. (And this would also give more room for growth to the other two schools with whom it shares its current building.)

          Granted, it’s not an ideal proposal, but it does make some sense.

    12. Sherman says:

      My kid is at PS 199. It’s a great school and he loves it.

      The school has drawn families into the neighborhood and helped to revitalize the UWS.

      Now they’re planning on moving project kids into the school.

      199 parents will likely flee to the suburbs or, if they can afford it, send their kids to private schools.

      Moving project kids to PS 199 will not improve the educational levels of these kids. On the contrary, it will lower the quality of education for everyone.

      Call me whatever you want but this is the cold hard truth. I lived through this when I was a small child in Brooklyn in the 1970s.

      • Mark says:

        “Project kids?” Shame on you, they’re children just like you and are just as entitled to an education as your precious snowflakes. Black lives don’t matter to a lot of you do they.

        • Zulu says:

          It is shameful but Sherman is right.

          • dannyboy says:

            Zulu, please reconsider. Something shameful is not right.

            Let’s end all this now.

            • Zulu says:

              Sherman is right in the sense that educational levels do not improve. It’s shameful because we’re talking about innocent kids that are victims of their circumstances.

            • dannyboy says:

              Zulu, I was a teacher in NYC in the 70s. I am currently the Chairman of a multi-national Educational Organization. My children attended the UWS public schools, my wife spent her career there as did my son in his 20s. Your “educational levels” are not the sole purpose of schools. I know you can understand that, and that is what is important.

            • Zulu says:

              Educational levels are not all there is to schools, I agree. If kids like going to school is because they have friends and love their teachers and feel safe. A kid that loves his school is more than likely a kid that’s thriving. It all goes hand in hand.

              I’m highly skeptical about this new plan being able to achieve what it intends. I think the intentions are honorable but the methodology is short sighted and reactionary. In ten years time they will realize they went about it the wrong way.

            • dannyboy says:

              Zulu, as you said earlier:
              “Do you have a better idea? Please do share.”

            • Zulu says:

              I read an article once about Finland, and how in the 1960’s they were coming to terms with the fact that they were running out of trees and pretty soon their wood based economy was going to tank.

              They had no idea what to do until somebody said: “Let’s invest in our best natural resource, our people.” So Finland drafted a plan that restructured education from the ground up. The thinking behind it was that by raising a population of highly educated professionals they would be able to drive technology forward and hence their GDP.

              The plan was put in place. They started by making teachers of all levels a highly paid position, on the par of doctors and lawyers. Teaching became a sought after and very respected profession which created competition at the university entry levels. Given it’s demand, colleges accepted only the brightest and most talented. Lo and behold, sooner than later, their scholastics kept improving year after year to a very high standard. At this point you would think they patted themselves in the back for a job well done. After all, they turned their fortunes around. But no, they didn’t quit there.

              Instead, their focus shifted from having to help a struggling school system of ax swingers (I’m exaggerating for effect) to creating advanced schools where the brightest kids could exploit their full potential. They weren’t concerned about leaving any child behind. They focused on pushing every kid forward. The end result, the finest most advanced scholastic system in the world.

              Of course, some will kvetch and say: “but this is not Finlaaaaand.” My answer to them: “You’re damn right it isn’t!”

            • dannyboy says:

              A third Program that we agree on. Let’s get going!

      • Christian says:

        It doesn’t have to be so. The school’s “grade” may go down because kids with fewer resources and more anxiety tend to score lower on standardized tests, and to have more trouble advancing. But that doesn’t necessarily correlate to the quality of the education being offered. In fact exposure to different cultural and economic backgrounds would give all students broader perspective.

      • Angeline says:

        Sherman:

        The PS199 zone has included, for many years, the Amsterdam Annex, which is a NYCHA building.

    13. James says:

      Something about carving up low-income students and distributing them into “better” schools doesn’t feel right to me. From both angles; either using “low-income” children to “desegregate schools,” or by using the “rich kids” to maintain school quality – It seems like the department of education is treating the children, rich or poor, as commodities to be mixed and matched to support some social-science experiment. It also seems like an acknowledgement from the DOE that they are unable to run a successful school that may have many children from low-income families; Isn’t it somewhat condescending (and inappropriate) to essentially treat the root cause of PS 191’s problems on the poor children themselves (and treat those children as a “problem” to be split-up amongst the wealthy?). And isn’t it a bit out of the DOE’s mandate to “use” the wealthy families to try and bring parity amongst schools?

      I’m definitely a liberal by any objective measure, but this doesn’t pass the stink test for me; it sounds like something out of a communist regime.

      We live in a city with issues of income inequality and wide variation in school quality within the district. But the phenomena doesn’t occur because people are trying to segregate schools or hurt poor children; it has occurred because New York is a disproportionate beneficiary of globalization over the last twenty five years and people flood this city in search of jobs and opportunities. The so-called “wealthy” families are making very normal decisions about “where can I live close to work so I don’t miss my family,” “where can I live that is safe and nurturing for my children to grow up,” and “where can I live where my children can get a good education.”

      And for all the top-down control the DOE has over zoning, they don’t control the real-estate and families will move in/out/around the district to do what’s best for their families; and it is true that the wealthier families are better positioned to do this. For that reason alone, any such experiment in zoning isn’t likely to last over a long-term, because the demographics of the population is so fluid, especially in this town.

      I think you’d be hard pressed to find a family that wants to live in New York City that would have an issue with their schools being diverse from a ethnic and socioeconomic perspective; if families want homogeneity there are many suburban towns to fit that bill. So my issue here isn’t so much with “what” the characterization of the problem is (schools of improper quality, or lack of diversity within school zones), but instead with “how” the DOE is approaching this. I gest – but why stop this experiment at District 3? Why not send kids out of district to ensure diversity? Why not send bus kids in from out of the city? Seems a little arbitrary to conduct this little experiment just within one district.

      Maybe this is overly simple perspective – but why shouldn’t children just attend the school closest to their house? Some of these zones leave families hopping over closer schools. If schools are over-crowded, build a new one. If schools are getting low-ranks or have “dangerous” designations, give them the staff and resources they need to improve. Maybe a school like PS191 needs the best teachers or the best investments by the city, and they should get them so that the children there get the same education as those from other schools. Maybe the larger buildings near PS199 would benefit from a new building and new school in the neighborhood to relieve overcrowding. Why does the “solution” to the problem need to involve the DOE taking essentially a political view on the demographics of the neighborhood? Sostre’s comment that “in light of recent events in this country,” seems out of line and offensive.

      If the mission of public education is to provide quality education for all, it seems such more convoluted to use the children and their families to establish some sort of district-wide norm than to simply put the resources and talent where it needs to go.

      • Anon says:

        A school full of poor kids in NYC simply can’t provide what the schools of UMC kids get because of money. Forget about race for a minye. The PS 199, 452,and 87 PTAs raise truckloads of money and spend it on assistant teachers, chess, coding, music and more. If some more of the kids from the projects are moved into PS 199 they too will have these programs. Likewise 452 will provide some kids with programs they wouldn’t have in a school with only poor kids.

        • Eddie says:

          In theory that might be right but in reality it isn’t. If you create a school that is, for example, half of the old 191 students and half 199, a large percentage of the old 199 kids will likely leave. Maybe not immediately, but the school will become much less desirable. This isn’t about racism, classism or anything else. It’s just the way it is. The acceptance to G&T that was turned down for a neighborhood school will start to look more desirable. The stretching of finances to make private school work will happen. The borderline decision to move to the burbs (or, heaven forbid, the UES) will be made easier. I’m not sure what the tipping point is at which this happens, but I think proposal 1 likely approaches it.

          Once these kids leave, the fund raising power that the stronger school once had will be gone (as will the highly engaged parents). And thus all of the benefits of merging the two student populations will be gone.

          Call me what you want. I don’t like that this is the truth, but it is the truth. Extreme social engineering might bring the weaker school up slightly, but it brings the stronger school down more.

          • Zulu says:

            100% agree.

            • dannyboy says:

              100% agree that: “Once these kids leave, the fund raising power that the stronger school once had will be gone (as will the highly engaged parents). And thus all of the benefits of merging the two student populations will be gone.”

              So it’s all about money, you think?

            • Zulu says:

              A good bit is about money, yes. The PTAs in the so called “rich schools” raise a lot of money to pay for additional teachers in the classroom. If the money sources dry out the additional teachers will go away. Having one or two extra educators in the classroom makes an enormous difference in the education of children particularly in the earlier grades.

              The other problem is cultural. Unfortunately some of the less affluent schools have a fight culture that will likely come with them. As said by others here, when people’s kids start coming home with bruises and stories of fights you better believe they’ll pull them out. And that’s how a good school is made into a mediocre one.

            • dannyboy says:

              Zulu, so it’s that you don’t want “less affluent” in your “rich school”. And you justify that with “additional teachers” vs “fight culture”.

              I get you.

            • Zulu says:

              When you put it that way, yes it sounds terrible. But it goes both ways, I wouldn’t want my kids to go to a school where the other kids go to Aruba for the weekend and to the French Alps on ski vacations. Nothing against folks with the ability to swing that life style I just don’t want my kids’ self esteem to take a hit in the name of a “better education”. Is this classism, perhaps, but I’m ok with it.

            • dannyboy says:

              Zulu, you are justifying restricting children from experiencing better circumstances for their own good? That their self-esteem would suffer if exposed to something more.
              More than classism ya’ think?

          • Anon says:

            Your scenario can’t happen because ps 191 just isn’t that big. It has fewer than 50 kids per grade compared to 150 at ps 199. And the Amsterdam Houses are being split intin3 different schools so about 16 kids from Amsterdam Houses per school per grade. And initially the only mixing would be in K since older kids can stay in the school they are in. Do people really think a few 5 year olds are going to ruin their school? As the kids get older they have the advantage of having been taught in a better school with a different peer group and the money those peers’ parents donate.

            We have to try something. It is shameful that we allow the UWS to have a great, rich, white school while a few blocks away we have a failing poor, brown school.

            • James says:

              Anon – The problem with DOE’s “FIX” is that they are trying to fix having a “white school” and a “brown school” instead of trying to fix having a “good school” and a “bad school.”

              This entire process is designed to have a burden of one poor school shared among a neighborhood to try and make the problem go away; talking about school segregation seems almost as a clever way to mute any dissent by wealthier families by drawing lines along race. What they should be talking about how to bring parity among PS191 and other schools. To rezone 11 schools as a result is an admission that they are incapable of fixing the problem of having a public school in a low-income area.

              I’ve lived in the neighborhood for many years and the decision to start a family here was indeed motivated by the good schools in the area. It wasn’t that there are “white schools” or “brown schools,” but that there are “good schools.” Families who don’t value diversity have no business in this City in the first place. And I’ve always said that when my Son reaches Kindergarten age, we’ll be out of the neighborhood as soon as the lease is up if we are not in a good school. Parents do not mess around when it comes to their kids’ education! There are plenty of areas beyond the Upper West Side where we could have our child in a multi-cultural environment with children from a mix of backgrounds and get a high-quality education (and nearly all of them are less expensive).

              I suspect that my family situation is not that dissimilar to many others; who want their children to get a great education and value local public schools (I would rather leave this City than send my children to a private school, as if we could even afford it). The DOE is playing with fire because the quality of the schools is pretty much the TOP factor in choosing the UWS to begin with for families of a certain age. Screwing this up will carry big consequences, and the district doesn’t exactly have the leverage they think they do over the families. If they wind-up doing this, it better work and provide top-quality education to all. Children aren’t guinea-pigs and the district won’t get much leeway from parents.

            • Parent says:

              Anon,

              You are on the right track. Actually, the numbers are even smaller. There are just over 40 kids in each K-5 grade at 191 and only 82% of the children are disadvantaged. That’s about 34 kids per grade to be shared among 3 schools.

              If 199 is their concern, it will be even less than a 3rd because 199, which already has the Amsterdam NYCHA extension, is taking in less of the houses. With 5 classes per grade, that’s less than 2 kids per class.

          • Anon says:

            Yep. It’s the cold hard reality. Wealthy NYC parents can always find options outside their zoned school if they wish to do so. You can call it racism, class-ism or whatever else you want, but no parent is going to sacrifice their child’s education if they can afford not to.

          • J says:

            “Extreme social engineering might bring the weaker school up slightly, but it brings the stronger school down more.”

            Sad but true.

            • dannyboy says:

              Obfuscating Integartion by remaning it “Extreme social engineering” is too obvious. Try again.

      • dannyboy says:

        “Maybe this is overly simple perspective – but why shouldn’t children just attend the school closest to their house?”

        Avoided the code phrase “Neighborhood School”

      • L says:

        I completely agree with James. Well put. If only the powers that be would pay attention to clear reasoning like you have set forth, perhaps something could actually be accomplished for once.

        • dannyboy says:

          Like the Commie-baiting?

          “I’m definitely a liberal by any objective measure, but this doesn’t pass the stink test for me; it sounds like something out of a communist regime.”

      • Parent says:

        The other major NYCHA complex is split among 3 zones (in the low 100s). That is how it is usually done. This isolation was wrong.

        see map
        https://www.westsiderag.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/160328-D3Map.pdf

    14. Cocerned Future Parent says:

      This is a pathetic attempt at forcing kids to go to sub-par schools that are not even close to where they live….the department of education should be embarrassed about both of these “plans”

    15. Alison says:

      When their kids start getting the crap beat out of them and average test scores start to drop, the idea of “diversity” will start to seem less appealing.

      • Christian says:

        Violence doesn’t only happen among poorer kids. Richer kids offer challenges of their own. Repeating a previous reply: It doesn’t have to be so. The school’s “grade” may go down because kids with fewer resources and more anxiety tend to score lower on standardized tests, and to have more trouble advancing. But that doesn’t necessarily correlate to the quality of the education being offered. In fact exposure to different cultural and economic backgrounds would give all students broader perspective.

        • Zulu says:

          Christian,

          It would be nice if it happened exactly as you say, but I have family that works for the DOE and although anecdotal their experiences are not as you describe.

          I do agree that exposing young kids to diverse socio-economic backgrounds is beneficial but to a certain degree. As these young kids grow they start to notice those that have vs. those that don’t have as much. When large discrepancies in standards of living are present it’s normally the kids with less that suffer the most. Just a couple weeks ago NPR had a program about exactly this issue in an East Village School.

          Although on paper the idea appears to work, the reality appears to be very different.

          • Christian says:

            I just replied to the previous post before seeing this one, Zulu. Thanks for the thoughtful reply. But does that mean it’s wise to segregate rich kids from poor kids ? (Which usually means dark-skinned kids from light-skinned kids?) That just sticks in my craw as unfair and kind of disgusting. Like I said about the projects, the economic disparity is real, whether it’s in the same school or not. It’s the disparity that’s a problem, not its proximity. If we keep poor kids out of “good” schools should we also keep them out of playgrounds in “good” neighborhoods? Slippery slope to gated communities.

            • Christian says:

              I tried to find the NPR piece you referred to about the LES (it’s been a slow friday!) but the nearest I found was this recent one, which includes the line: “Numerous studies have found kids from low-income families do better when they’re mixed with students from wealthier families, and those other children do fine as well.”

              http://www.wnyc.org/story/how-downtown-manhattan-wants-create-more-integrated-schools/

              I’m not trying to be contrarian for its own sake, and I have to sign off for today, but I want to put that out there. (The whole series is pretty interesting actually, especially the one about Jackson Heights.)

            • Zulu says:

              Hi Christian, yes it would be disgusting if it’s made about race. That’s not what I’m trying to convey. My point is that kids with lesser means as they grow up start to notice the differences in the way people live and the things that others can afford. This is irrelevant to skin tone. It’s not easy going to school when you’re the odd kid out.

            • dannyboy says:

              “When large discrepancies in standards of living are present it’s normally the kids with less that suffer the most.”

              Justifying separation of children based on class or race, or whatever you have decided, “for their own good” is what? You should decide that. Let your conscence in on it.

          • Zulu says:

            Christian,

            I think that might be the NPR link. In this particular segment they interviewed the father of the only black girl in this school (the school was predominantly Asian) and he mentioned that his daughter was being bullied. However, he chose not to remove her from that school because of the high level of education she was getting. So I thought to myself, this poor girl is suffering abuse just so she could get a “good education”. To me it was obvious, the DOE failed for this family. When a father has to choose between bullying and education, the system has failed. BTW, that was the school she was zoned for.

            I think what they’re trying to do here is going to fail as well. I have little faith in the DOE’s ability for planning or doing right by the kids. The same way the failed to protect PS 163 from being exposed to the perils of having a construction site just a few feet away from their school (ref. JHA tower).

      • Sherman says:

        That’s exactly what happened to me when I was a young child in Brooklyn in the mid 1970s.

        This is why my family fled to the suburbs – along with everyone else from my neighborhood.

        • Christian says:

          I don’t think “diversity” is an amenity or a lifestyle choice. It’s the way things are. The projects can be a block or 10 blocks away or across the river but they’re still there and inhabited by people. Sherman, I don’t judge the generation that left Brooklyn when you were a kid. I might have done the same thing in that position, where it felt like there was no hope of making things better. But that’s not the position we’re in right now and it doesn’t have to go that way.

          • J says:

            Flight will happen, at least to some degree. Don’t underestimate the will of parents who want their kids to be in a safe and positive environment.

      • J says:

        “When their kids start getting the crap beat out of them and average test scores start to drop, the idea of “diversity” will start to seem less appealing.”

        This is the comment of the day.
        Funny, sad, true.

        • dannyboy says:

          Fear-mongering of violence is not “funny” or “true”.

          I agree that it is a “sad” commentary and very revealing.

    16. Debbie D. says:

      Did they give any information on rationale for some of the shifting zones on the northern end in Option 1?

    17. Nan says:

      How will this affect Pre K for 2017?

    18. Cecilia says:

      “Current students would all be grandfathered into their schools. And incoming siblings would continue to receive priority for their brother’s or sister’s school even after zones shift”. What kind of priority? My daughter is attending one school already and we don’t want my son to go to another school next year at Kindergarten.

    19. Neil says:

      I haven’t seen more nonsensical lines since I studied gerrymandering in college. The upper part of the UWS has nice straight lines. The bottom, not so much. Just draw a straight line somewhere in the mid 60s, sending all the relevant families to 191/452/and or the new school. That includes some or all of Amsterdam houses and the West End avenue buildings. The fact that the PS 199 zone dips down so much is a joke – so someone who lives a block from 191/moved 452/new school doesn’t have to go there?? But the people at 70th and CPW or 68th and CPW do? Come on?

      There are ways to add diversity to schools, without having to force children 5-10 years old from schlepping. I’m all for the Amsterdam Houses kids for having an opportunity. Split the population up between 191/new 452/and new school. Eliminate 63, 64, 65 and 66 street from the PS 199 zone. Make diversity central but the proposal sensible. And if the response is, well the upper part of the UWS won’t be diverse, then come up with a real plan that requires all of these schools to be part of a superzone.

      I’m just tired of the DOE finding religion now and trying to to cure diversity issues with ad hocery. And of the city and our representatives for failing to make distributing resources to underperforming schools and/or requiring new fancy developments to contribute to new schools a priority.

      One last point – I wonder how those PS 191 parents who objected to previous plans because they didn’t advance “diversity” will react if they happen to now be zoned for PS 199 or a relocated 452. Will they still keep strong in support for diversity? I hope so.

      • Angeline says:

        Eliminating 63-66 is not enough to reduce 199 zone in terms of population. The line would likely go up to 68th if it were straight east-west.

      • J says:

        Neil,

        Parents are in favor of school diversity only to the extent that it makes for a better school for their kids. If diversity makes for a worse school for our kids, then we don’t want diversity. Our kids come first. That’s part of what it means to be a parent.

        So, few wise 191 parents would object to being rezoned to 199 or 452.

        If you were a 191 parent, would you?

        • dannyboy says:

          “Parents are in favor of school diversity only to the extent that it makes for a better school for their kids.”

          J, you know these are Public Schools, intended to serve the Public Need.

          • Zulu says:

            That’s true dannyboy but parents are putting out a lot money to make them better. That’s part of why there is so much resistance to these changes.

            I know what you’re going to say next: “money, money, money.” and the rich taking ownership of public property and services. True, but there’s always a balance to a system. When the parents feel that they are not getting back an education experience worth their financial commitment, they’ll pack up and leave.

          • dannyboy says:

            “When the parents feel that they are not getting back an education experience worth their financial commitment, they’ll pack up and leave.” – Zulu

            These are Public Schools, not Private Schools.

      • anon says:

        It isn’t as gerrymandered as it appears. From the north side of 62nd St to the south side of 66th St between Broadway and Amsterdam tehre are no apartments, just Lincoln Center. Between 66th and 64th Amsterdam to WEA there is only one high rise and it is part of Amsterdam Houses. Splitting the Lincoln Towers superblock into different school zones is OK with me but will look like gerrymandering – the buildings don’t follow the grid lines of the streets that are drawn on the above diagrams.

        Full disclosure, my kids are too old to be impacted by this. Others in my apartment building which will be out of the 199 zone are fear full our property prices will drop. I’m OK with that. I think it would only be temporary and these schools would all end up being good ones.

        • dannyboy says:

          “Others in my apartment building which will be out of the 199 zone are fear full our property prices will drop.”

          Sacrifice the kids. There’s money to be made! Community feh!

          • Shamir says:

            Dannyboy – in most of your posts you criticize everyone for being concerned about money.

            Meanwhile, you’ve been living decades in a giant rent-controlled apartment. This means that your fellow UWS residents have bee subsidizing your lifestyle with artificially bloated rents.

            Please pay your fair share of market value rents. Only then will you have the right to lecture others about money.

      • Anon says:

        If you don’t believe in 5 – 10 year olds schlepping, then you wouldn’t be in favor moving 452. Although, I suspect that most of the “affected parents” at 452 will find a way to work themselves back into cozy spots in the PS 87 zone.

    20. Tired UWS mom says:

      No one is talking about the craziness proposed in the 80s/90s. Our current apt building has been zoned for 166 for decades if not forever. It is something that bonds the old and young in our building. We have dedicated countless hours to supporting the school and building a community. As we did for PS87 when we had a child there since we lived in that zone at the time. Now we are potentially zoned for PS84?? Even though both 9 and 166 are closer. We are on our 2nd elementary school in D3 and have no energy to make it a 3rd. I am sure 84 is a fine school. But it is exhausting to make a switch, get to know a school administration and parent body and afterschool all over again. There is a limit to how much parents can do to “save” a school, nor should they have to.

      BTW grandfathering does not help unless you have a child continuously in the school. No gaps!

      • Eddie says:

        I totally agree. I think one of the risks of an educated NYer is that if you live right on the edge of two school zones, there is a chance that you could get bumped at some point. This is largely what happens in Option 2. But many people who live right in the middle of a zone are being moved in Option 1. I also agree that continuity in a school is critical and these plans, particularly Option 1, do not seem to care about that.

        Regarding grandfathering, I’m guessing that there are not many families where a child graduates from an elementary school whose younger sibling is not currently at a school. There are obviously plenty of cases where it occurs, but siblings spread over six years apart are relatively uncommon. I am still not clear on how this will work for siblings who are in the school – is the younger sibling who is not in the school yet receiving top priority as if they are an in-zone sibling, or do they move down and end up like out-of-zone siblings, with few guarantees at the most popular schools? Hopefully they will answer that and many other questions on Wednesday night. I’m not sure what will be a bigger circus – this meeting Wednesday night or the Republican Convention!

    21. UWS Parent says:

      Can someone explain if you are on the zone line whether they just split that street down the middle or how does it work? I can’t find anything on the DOE website that explains how you are treated if you live on a zone line.

      • West Sider says:

        Historically, they have split that street down the middle, yes. WSR

      • Anon says:

        I was told at the meeting yesterday that if the zoning line running through the middle of your block is a straight line, then the north side of the street would be zoned to the school to the north and the south side of the street would be zoned to the school to the school. If there is a jagged/zigzag zoning line running through a specific block then both the north and south side of the street will go to the school in that zone