Parents spoke at a recent school rezoning meeting.

The Upper West Side school board is backing a plan to rezone local schools that would result in PS 452 on 77th Street being moved to West 61st Street, despite parents’ protests against the idea. The board will also look to increase the size of the zone for PS 191 to include 205 West End Avenue, a building in the Lincoln Towers complex. Lincoln Towers residents have been adamant that they should be zoned for the coveted PS 199 on 70th Street.

The changes are sure to be a shocker for many parents who had sat through hearings on the issue, wondering which way the board members were leaning.

The board’s plan was laid out in a detailed letter (posted below) sent Tuesday to the city Department of Education and elected officials. The letter also addresses the impact of a large rezoning on other public schools, including PS 87 and PS 9. We’ll have more coverage of those implications too.

Upper West Side education leaders have sought a rezoning to relieve overcrowding at some schools and increase diversity. School rezonings are proposed by the city and then voted on by the school board, known as CEC3. The board, made up of local public school parents, is set to vote next month on the plan, but had not revealed their intentions until now. There is no map currently available to show the plan that the board laid out in the letter, but the DOE has had the letter since Friday and may have a map ready for a meeting about the issue on Wednesday, said Kim Watkins, chair of the CEC3 zoning committee.

“We value the CEC’s leadership and partnership, and will continue to solicit feedback, host meetings and engage in robust conversations as we work to submit a final proposal that best serves all of the students and families in District 3,” wrote Toya Holness, a DOE spokesperson.

Update: Holness says that the DOE will not have a plan or map ready for Wednesday’s meeting.

The city DOE had already proposed three rezoning scenarios, one of which included a re-siting for PS 452. PS 452 would be placed at 61st and Amsterdam in the current home of PS 191, which would move one block West to a new building at 61st and West End Avenue inside the Riverside Center complex. While the principal supported PS 452’s move to 61st Street, some parents had fought it; a petition to keep the school in the same place had 857 supporters as of Tuesday.

The board’s letter is attached below, and will be discussed at upcoming rezoning meetings, including one that is scheduled for Wednesday Oct. 19. We have posted the full list of meetings here and will provide much more coverage of this. The letter is very detailed and includes many more requests and demands of the DOE.

CEC3 Zoning Plan Letter to Chancellor Farina.finaL by westsiderag on Scribd

NEWS, SCHOOLS | 191 comments | permalink
    1. Anon says:

      It appears to me that the DOE has abdicated its authority to relocate and rezone to the CEC. It looks like the DOE is asking the CEC to do its work for them.

      I haven’t fully read through this letter, but some of the things in here seem like pure nonsense to me.

      First, create a GreenFlea Market at the old PS 191 space where PS 452 will move….

      Second, build a science lab to give Anderson School more room in the space that 452 vacates. Again, give more room/space to a school that is a citywide school?

      Third, we’ve heard at multiple meetings how three schools at O’Shea don’t work, yet the CEC is recommending putting another middle school there. WHAT??

      Fourth – shrink PS 199 to 5 elementary sections. I thought they always had 6 sections at that school.

      Good luck with this….

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon: Please read NYC Chancellors Regulation A-185. You will find that the re-zoning process as codified in the Chancellor’s regulations has been ignored which gives any parent with standing legal grounds to file an Article 78 proceeding to challenge this proposal should it be adopted . . .

    2. Janine Serual says:

      Can someone explains how this works?

      PS 452, which by the way was opened a few years ago, is now being moved from 77th to 61st. Meaning what exactly – what is being moved? What is going to happen to the building at 77th where PS 452 is currently housed? What school will the parents currently zoned for PS 452 who live in the upper 70s and lower 80s go to? If PS 191 is going to remain on 60th, where move a school to 61st, a block away?

      • Anon says:

        Janine –

        What is being moved will be the administration, staff and students (whose parents don’t pull them out of the school). According to the CEC letter, they are recommending the following for the vacated space: (1) opening a science lab for Anderson School (a city wide school that adds no seats to District 3), (2) moving a middle school into the space (again, there is a plethora of unused middle school seats in the district) or (3) moving in a universal pre-K (which would be city-wide and add no seats to the District).

        452 students that currently live in the 70’s and 80’s and are enrolled in 452 will move with the school.

        • Brandon says:

          It specifically says that the science lab would be shared by Anderson and Computer School.
          Do we have a shortage of seats in D3 with the new Riverside school opening and PS 452 expanding? The letter also mentions that there is extra capacity in the northern end of the zone.

        • Anon says:

          It is the intent and belief of the CEC that 452 students will move with the school. The reality is that many will leave the school in favor of a closer option (likely PS 87, which will be the new zone for most), private school or the suburbs. There have already been multiple instances of this happening at the beginning of this school year, even before anything was proposed formally.

        • UWSMom says:

          @anon – Anderson is a District 3 school with a large percentage of students from District 3. Anderson has not caused the overcrowding problem in District 3. Your constant scapegoating of Anderson is unwarranted.

          • Anon says:

            @UWS Mom (aka Anderson parent) – Anderson is a CITYWIDE school. Kids commute from all four boroughs. I know several people who commute to Anderson from Brooklyn and Queens. There is no reason it needs to be located in the most crowded part of District 3.

            With that said, the CEC and DOE stupidly moved Anderson to W77th a few years ago, so I don’t think they should force the school to move again (but why do they need a new science lab?).

            • Jose says:

              Exactly. NEST+M is in a difficult to access area (particularly from the UWS) yet still manages to draw kids from all over. So Anderson does not need to be in prime real estate to maintain its popularity. I know it is K-8, not K-5, but I think the move was actually long enough ago that there aren’t many kids still there who spent any time at the old location.

            • UWSMom says:

              The DOE moved Anderson into the O’Shea Complex to alleviate overcrowding at 199. When Anderson moved into O’Shea, the Center School moved from 199 to the space Anderson vacated at 9, so that 199 could be a K-5 building. At the time Anderson moved into O’Shea, the building was considered “persistently dangerous”. So yes, the building in which your beloved 452 is located was considered “persistently dangerous” in the recent past. Given the reluctance of families now to have anything to do with 191 or the 191 building because of the “persistently dangerous” status, how “dumb” does the DOE’s decision to move Anderson into O’Shea look? Who else were they going to move in there?

              The Anderson School has been a good neighbor and has already been part of the solution to address overcrowding. The extent to which we are scapegoated and dismissed as a school for kids from Queens and Brooklyn, when that population is very small and Anderson students are much more likely to be your UWS neighbor, is unfair.

            • Anon says:

              Given that Anderson is a citywide school can the CEC just kick it out? I wouldn’t think so. They could possibly propose another D3 site. I suspect they are being handled with kid gloves because 7(?) years ago when they moved to 77th St they were promised 3 sections per grade but that fell apart the next year when space was needed for ps 452.

            • Anon says:

              Oh please, UWS mom. No one is “scapegoating” Anderson. It’s a citywide school that takes of school space in one of the most crowded parts of the city. It’s understandable that people have asked whether Anderson could move. But that’s never been on the table in in these proposals. At all.
              Plenty of families are going to have to make big changes as a result of the rezoning and re-siting. Your school is getting a fancy new computer lab. Stop whining.

    3. Sherman says:

      Let’s cut to the chase about this rezoning controversy.

      There is absolutely zero chance any LT parents will send their kids to PS191.

      They will either send their kids to private school or, more likely, leave the city altogether.

      There’s nothing like old fashioned liberal social engineering to ruin a city. I experienced it as a child in Brooklyn in the 1970s. It’s deja vu all over again.

      • anon says:

        in earlier threads on this subject we were told that the two LT buildings being rezoned to PS 191 only had 5 K students for next year. Now 205 WEA would also be rezoned so probably a few more. The loss of these 10 or so families from the 100,000 entering public K next year will not ruin the city. You’re being a bit dramatic.

      • 22 High Rises + 1/3 NYCHA = Success says:


        Step outside your ugly Lincoln Tower box.

        I get that Lincoln Towers residents are upset because they feel that they have had something taken away from them – which they thought they owned – like shares in a country club.

        This situation, however, is way bigger than Lincoln Towers – we have 8 massive high rises (4 Trump Towers, Lincoln Guild and 3 LT) being added to part of the existing 191 zone – which has 9 luxury high rises (along WEA and RSB). That’s even BEFORE you add in the 5 luxury buildings going up in Riverside Center.

        Currently, the number of kids from the NYCHA complex entering kindergarten each year is between 30 and 35 kids. That number is now going to be shared among three schools (199, likely 452, and 191).

        Do you really mean to tell us that the incoming kindergarten children from a combined 22 luxury towers cannot share a school a school with the children from a portion of the NYCHA complex?

        Has anyone stopped for a second to think about how all of the families living in the 9 high rises along West End Avenue and Riverside Boulevard must feel? They are likely pretty excited to finally have an amazing new option, and disgusted by posts like yours which attempt to destroy our community’s struggle to desegregate.

        Your post that no LT parent will sent their child to that gorgeous new school has no more basis in truth than the average Trump tweet. Moreover, your attitude is not less divisive for our community. In our area of the UWS we think big and go high. If you want to go low, go troll for him.

        • Sherman says:

          Do you have any kids? Where do they go to school?

          Get your head out of your liberal naive bubble.

          I can assure you that no LT parent and no parents living in the Trump buildings will send their kids to 191.

          • Anon says:

            Second that. No one will be sending their kids to 191. We’ve all been making alternate plans. Of course it amounts to an inefficient tax going to real estate that could have gone to the schools.

          • 22 High Rises + 1/3 NYCHA = Success says says:

            Anon and Sherman,

            I live in Lincoln Towers and I would proudly have my family educated in the new kindergarten in the new school if that time had not already passed. I know it is very easy for the two of you to discount my position because I don’t have any “skin in the game”, but that doesn’t justify your disruptive posts. The CEC members that signed that letter to the DOE have plenty of skin (their reputations, their efforts) in the game, and I agree with their historic position.

            If you and Anon don’t want to send your kids to 191, and are making alternative plans, that’s certainly your prerogative. I respect that this option is not for everyone, and I would not put someone down for making that choice. Private school enrollment for Lincoln Towers children is also not all that uncommon – I’m not even sure if more than half of the kids in our Towers go to P.S. 199 anyway.

            Just because P.S. 191 in the new building with an entirely different zoning situation isn’t for you doesn’t mean that it is definitely not for anyone else, not this year or ever. I wouldn’t attempt to speak for everyone and neither should you. Every family in the 17 luxury towers currently zoned to the new 191 (and 22 towers eventually) has the power to make that choice for themselves.

            I see that you don’t want to be part of the solution and that’s okay. However, actively trying to be a part of the problem is not okay. Yesterday, Obama called on Trump to stop whining and trying to discredit the election. Today I am calling you out on the same. Stop discrediting the new integrated Kindergarten classes in a new building before it has even opened.

            It’s time for Lincoln Towers residents West of WEA to recognize that the fight to stay in 199 (for better or worse) is over, and the time to rise to the occasion is now. Let’s be clear on the facts here. P.S. 191 is currently 77% free lunch eligible. That makes sense because there are about 44 kids in every elementary grade and only about 30 to 35 of them are from NYCHA. After grandfathering runs its course, about 13 kids out of 100 to 150 kids will be from NYCHA (CEC is calling for 4 to 6 kindergarten classes of 25 kids each in the new facility).

            It is certainly not so hard to believe that the zone will soon need enough space for 150 kids. 22 LUXURY HIGH RISES IN A ZONE IS A LOT OF KIDS! When it does get to that point, 13 free lunch kids out of 150 will mean that P.S. 191 is 9% free lunch. P.S. 199 is currently 7%, and this will rise with the inclusion of more NYCHA buildings.

            The ironic reality here is that the lower grades in P.S. 191 will soon have a lower poverty rate than P.S 199! Sherman, your assertion (or wish) that no LT parent will ever send their kid to that gorgeous new school is looking about as unrealistic as a Trump win.

            Realistically, in the opening year or two it will be “less rosy” – more like 25 NYCHA kids out of 100 (25% free lunch). Just to give you a baseline, P.S. 9, a highly respected school – is 19% free lunch. Take it or leave it, but respect the rights of the rest of the community to make make choices for themselves, given the facts.


            • Sherman says:

              I see you’re very open minded and progressive about the world – just as long as it doesn’t affect you personally.

              Typical UWS liberal.

            • 22 High Rises + 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

              Your mindset is better suited for the suburbs. Around here, calling someone open minded and liberal is not a put down.

              Around here we are also primarily Democrats, even though it would be in our financial self-interest to have been Republicans all of these years. Self-interest is the box I was referring to in my first post that many people just cannot escape.

              The poverty that segregation perpetuates is all around us in the city. It is in all of our collective interest to cut down the ills like segregation that undergird it.

          • UWSparent says:

            I have two kids. They went to PS 145 with 800 minority kids, many from the projects, when crack was sold and used routinely in the surrounding streets. They always had high test scores and did well in school. They easily tested into the specialized high schools, and also got into LaGuardia (unlike many private school acquaintances). They are college graduates (one with a graduate degree) with high-paying professional jobs. They are good kids, who never caused me any trouble. I don’t pay their rent (which is not something I can say for a number of my friends and their children who went to “good” elementary and private schools). Sheesh.

        • Anon says:

          If current stats are any indicator, I think Sherman may be onto something. The current zone size of kindergarten students for PS191 is 75. But according to DOE stats, I believe only 25 K students from that zone go to PS191. And if approximately 30 kindergarten kids are from NYCHA, that means the parents of the luxury buildings you speak of have opted out of sending their children to that neighborhood public school. We all want the new school to succeed, but will a brand new school with a new name make a difference to those parents who apparently have the financial means to send their kids elsewhere?

          • Brandon says:

            Starting next Sept the 30 Amsterdam Houses kids ready for kindergarten will not go to 191, only about 10 of them will. So the 191 that people LT and new high rise parents are being asked to consider will have a different make up of kids. Some of them will give it a try. The next year even more will. In 6 years time when those k students are leaving elementary school it will be a highly rated school with a big PTA budget and a small percentage of kids eligible for free lunch. And some people will have spent $240,000 on private school tuition to avoid it.

            • Self serving DOE logic. says:

              Essentially what you are saying Brandon (along with the DOE and CEC) is that the fewer Amsterdam House kids the better the school will get and the richer the PTA. You may want to think about what you’re saying there, cause it sounds – well read what you said again.

              DOE and CEC are basically saying the same thing though. If we spread out the kids then all schools will be average…so we wont lose our embarrassing 191 to a charter school which could probably educate kids better. Instead the DOE should be saying…it’s not the kids, it’s us. We the DOE could not make a school good because we are inept. Yet they say nobody owns a school, however we do need the parents to fix the schools. Sounds just like DOE logic to me – self serving at the least.

            • 22 High Rises + 1/3 NYCHA = Success says:

              Self serving DOE logic,

              Let me explain it to you in very simple terms (since the level of discourse on this thread is so low).

              School segregation hasn’t worked well here in our neighborhood or anywhere else for that matter.

              That’s why the diversity of the NYCHA buildings is going to be shared by three schools. Approximately 13 kids per grade will be from the NYCHA complex in each school. That number is so low that we will finally have 3 integrated and highly successful schools.

              This is not some hair-brained DOE concept from left field. This is the law of our city, which the DOE is finally following.

              Last year our City Council passed the School Diversity and Accountability Act. As explained in the article below, the law “requires the NYC Department of Education to provide detailed demographic data & steps it is taking to advance diversity in NYC schools” It also calls for the DOE to “establish diversity as a priority in admissions, zoning, and other decision-making processes”.


            • Brandon says:

              I’m not saying the kids who live in the Amsterdam Houses are bad or can’t score well on state tests or anything negative about them. I will say that their families don’t have the same economic means as the families in the surrounding luxury high rises. Like it or not the money families raise for or donate to their PTA makes a huge difference to the schools. They pay for things like chess and music and art and other “specials”. The amounts the PTAs take in on the UWS is astonishing with many close to $1,000,000 a year. PS 191 PTA raised around $32,000 last year. So if we split those families up and give those kids the programs their UMC classmate parents will fund. These kids won’t be bringing down the quality of education in those schools.

        • Lol says:

          Laughing out loud at 22 high rises. It has nothing to do with sharing a school with NYCHA children. 199 will have the same if not higher percentage of NYCHA children. If people didn’t want to share a school they’d be asking to go to 87 where no diversity is planned – zilch, zero.

          Should have asked parents if a new building was gonna do it for them, then the CEC wouldn’t have to guess. You must be on the CEC because no parent I’ve ever talked to has said “wow a new building, sign me up.”

          • 22 High Rises + 1/3 NYCHA = Success says:

            I don’t think anyone reading this forum is so naive to think that sharing a school with NYCHA kids has nothing to do with how LT people are responding to this situation.

            I admit that the P.S. 452 group, which needs to travel nearly 20 blocks to an average facility (albeit their own), has a genuine gripe.

            As you and I both note, the diversity situation at 199 and 191 isn’t going to be that different in the lower grades. So the only argument left is the distance one or the community one.

            The situation where LT residents need to walk 6 to 9 short blocks south to a multi-million dollar complex is no hardship. Google Maps says it should take 9 minutes for people at 205 WEA 7 minutes for families at 165 WEA. Throw in a few extra for your little one. BFD.

            If your argument is that drawing a line down WEA will destroy our sense of community, you can forget about it. These divisive words of Sherman’s and some others are certainly not about maintaining community.

            • Anon says:

              22 high rises,

              Guess you couldnt say anything to what I said. So you went on a tangent.

              You’re so clever to do time management for me. Yes 9 mins in the wrong direction and nowhere near a subway. So now that’s 18 mins. With school starting at 8 30 and another 35 minute commute that makes me, a working parent, late for work everyday. Maybe you can volunteer to take my child to school?

            • 22 High Rises + 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

              That comment would be laughable if it were not so sad. We have serious defacto segregation in our neighborhood, which perpetuates poverty and all sorts of terrible problems in society – and the source of your efforts to discredit the k classes (even before they open) is walking 9 minutes in the wrong direction.

    4. Susan says:

      Downloaded app but unable to read the entire letter to Farina

    5. Sharon says:

      The Education Dept is so desperate to make the school rezoning plan work, but it gets worse at each iteration. PS 199 and Lincoln Towers were built at the same time. Schools should have been planned when newer buildings were approved. Our city and borough planners are just waking up ten plus years too late!!

      • UWSfedupmom says:

        Bloomberg let Trump off the hook for the school he was supposed to build when the Towers went up, so that is where the overcrowding all began…and they are not in the rezoning…think about that when you vote…

        • Anon says:

          UWSfedupmom- Someone can correct me if I am wrong (and I will take no offense), but didn’t construction on the Trump buildings begin in the late 1990’s? If so, development plans would have been some years before that. If I am right – you can’t blame Bloomberg for this mess…..

          • UWSfedupmom says:

            Actually, Anon, it was brought up during the Bloomberg years again, and he chose not to enforce the deal Trump Towers’ developers had made. Then how about Guiliani then. Regardless, the City (not the DOE) did not enforce the deal – which also gave Trump developers a nice tax cut…

        • angeline says:

          The city was given the option to buy land (at current market value) in the Bloomberg administration to build a new school in the Riverside Blvd area. They turned it down despite statistics produced by P.S. 199 PTA as to the number of children coming from the Riverside Blvd buildings.

          So when the opportunity arose to get a new building out of Extell, the community held Extell’s feet to the fire and got them to build a new building, which is currently entirely within the PS191 zone. No choice as that is the only vacant piece of land left. Other options (like purchasing old Catholic school at 85th & WEA or Collegiate building) not pursued.

    6. Susan says:

      School board of District 3 has again made a monstrous decision. Parents cannot and will not be strong armed into placing their child into a school not of their choosing. One need only to look at the history of 199 and 191
      Why not move 191 into the new school, make 191 a universal pre-k school,
      leave thriving schools alone and fix the others. That is your responsibility.
      Leaving LT alone! The folks here made 199 great.
      District 3 never did.

    7. UWSdad says:

      I’m pleased they see the wisdom of re-siting 452 vs. starting a new school… That was a no-brainer.

      • Anon says:

        Really, a no brainer? Care to elaborate? I’m not a parent at 452, but how do you think they feel right now. In most cases, they will actually have 2 or 3 schools closer in distance then where 452 is moving.

        • UWSdad says:

          I would just refer you to the points made in the letter at pp. 5-6 regarding the re-siting, which express how I feel as someone who is proposed to be zoned out of 199 to the M191 building (which, incidentally, will more than double my children’s commute).

          • Not Happy says:

            UWSdad – I hear you and I can’t disagree with you, but you don’t have kids in school yet so in some respect you are at the mercy of the zoning lines.

            I hope you can at least appreciate why many of the 452 families that don’t want to move feel the way they do. I am an impacted family and once the relocation is done, I will actually live closer to PS 199, PS 87 and PS 9 then I will the relocated 452. That just seems unfair.

            • UWSdad says:

              We can certainly debate “fairness” (think of the 205 WEA folks’ reaction to this), but yes, as I have stated in other posts, I am sympathetic to the parents of current 452 students who will have an increased commute time. For what it’s worth, I’m not happy about any of this. But if this proposal does go through, I am hopeful that despite some of the rhetoric around here, many current 452 parents will continue to support and send their children to the school.

            • 452 parent says:

              Sorry, UWS Dad. Even in the best case scenario, PS 452 is facing some tough years.

              Unfortunately the current principal seems ill-equipped the handle the challenging transition.

              …join me at PS 9…?

    8. How dare they says:

      I would like to remind everyone that the authority to re-site a school rests solely with the DOE (I believe the PEP). The CEC has no authority to approve a re-siting.

      It appears the CEC’s entire plan is based on creating as much space in PS 199, and clearing it out as much as possible, at the expense of the entire district 3. The CEC believes children won’t attend the current PS 191 building next year unless PS 452 is re-sited there. This is a flaw in their thinking. There are only two classes per grade at PS 452 (approximately 60 children per grade). A conservative estimate is at least half of the current PS 452 families will NOT move with the school if it is re-sited. The effect at the current PS 191 building will be virtually the same if a new school is opened rather than re-siting PS 452 since very few current PS 452 families would follow the school to 60th street. Another major flaw with the CEC’s attached proposal of re-siting PS 452 is District 3 will forever lose the elementary school seats if it vacates the current PS 452 location. This will create horrible overcrowding for the neighboring schools of PS 199, PS 87 and PS 9 in the very near future. This will severely hurt District 3. The CEC, which is led by a PS 199 parent, is now willing to endanger the rest of our district for the benefit of one school, PS 199. It is irresponsible.

      Scenario 3 which shrunk the PS 452 zone to allow more children from out of the zone to attend the successful school is a great idea and creates diversity which is a very welcome goal of the DOE.

      TO THE DOE AND ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS THAT CARE ABOUT THE EDUCATION OF THE CHILDREN IN DISTRICT 3, PLEASE DO NOT RE-SITE PS 452 AND PLEASE REINSTATE 6 KINDERGARTEN CLASSES AT PS 199. It will benefit so many. Adding 25 more seats to PS 199 than what the current proposals state will also increase diversity. There are many positive possibilities that come with keeping the number of k classes at 6 in PS 199. Some of them are as follows:

      1 – More children from the Amsterdam houses can now be zoned to PS 199 and they will have the same access to a great school as others in the neighborhood. You could add between 10-15 more children from the Amsterdam houses.

      2 – Buildings that have been in the PS 199 catchment since the early 1960s when the school opened can stay in the 199 zone. You’ve heard the valid and passionate arguments from the residents of Lincoln Towers and Lincoln Guild in staying in the zone that they have been part of since the school’s inception. A few buildings re-instated into the PS 199 catchment could account for 10-15 children that make up the additional 25 by maintaining the six 6 classes.

      3 – PS 199 can take more children from the northern part of the zone. The lack of rezoning for the northern part of the zone seemed to bother a few of the CEC members, as they spoke out about this at one of the recent meetings. Having children from this part of the zone attend PS 199 supports the DOE’s goal of increased diversity.

      Thank you for your consideration, and please do not let a few on the CEC damage the entire District for the shortsighted benefit of one school.

      • UWSdad says:

        I respectfully disagree with your statement, offered without proof, “The effect at the current PS 191 building will be virtually the same if a new school is opened rather than re-siting PS 452 since very few current PS 452 families would follow the school to 60th street.”

        • Anon1 says:

          UWSdad – I personally know 7 families that withdrew their kindergarten students before they started 1st grade this year because of this process. That is 10% of the K population (and I can’t speak about the other grades). This is before any of this rezoning became concrete.

          I’ve been neutral in this as my 452 student will be attending middle school in the fall so I felt it wasn’t appropriate to comment.

          What I will say is this. I think the CEC and DOE are underestimating the number of families that won’t move. It may not be 75%, but I do think it can be close to 50%. So, don’t take it lightly.

          Second, with respect to the administration (and this includes the PTA), they have really disappointed many of us in the way this was handled. To say they dropped the ball is putting it lightly.

          Third, you know have a very angry parent population. I don’t know if you saw, but in an NY Post article that posted on Sunday night a faculty member essentially called the parents that don’t want to move “racists”. This does not sit well with many families and the school still hasn’t acknowledged it.

          • UWSdad says:

            Just read the Post article — not great. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 12 years, and all of this is upsetting.

            • Anon says:

              UWSDad – I’ve lived in the neighborhood for about 10 years myself and this is really bad and to be upfront, I am a 452 parent opposed to the move for a host of reasons that I have articulated at many meetings.

              Can you imagine how upset my wife and I were when we read this article 2 nights ago. The administration still hasn’t addressed the parent body about this.

              It was bad enough to have other parents tell me things that faculty staff said about me when I was standing to speak, but this takes the cake. Now, I am expected to move my kids to this school. I’ve lost all respect for the administration and this process. I am at a loss.

          • 452 parent says:

            @ Anon1, I am also a 452 parent in the lower grades. If the school relocates, I would say about 70% of our class will be actively seeking another option for their child(ren). Even if some of them are unable to do so, the attrition rate will be far higher than the CEC is expecting. The loss of enrollment (along with the presence of an angry parent body forced to commute) will devastate the school.

            • UWSfedupmom says:

              What a bunch of whiners you 452 parents are. (a school very nicely designed for a very small area!) You live in NYC, if you have to walk a few blocks or put your kid on a bus to get to school, you are not alone. My daughter goes to a school that is located two zoned schools from our location. So what? She is in a great G&T program, and I never complained about the distance. I would go farther…entitlement is very unattractive..

            • Anon says:

              UWSfedupmom – very big difference. You CHOSE to send your child to an out of zone school you were not forced to do so.

              Please take your holier than though attitude somewhere else.

            • UWSfedupmom says:


              No, I am just practical. You are still going to the same school – same parents – same teachers – with more space. If your child is within a half a mile or mile (depending on the age of your child) you will qualify for the bus…My daughter loves the bus. FYI – this whole rezoning issue has affected ALL the D3 schools now!

      • dannyboy says:

        “It appears the CEC’s entire plan is based on creating as much space in PS 199, and clearing it out as much as possible, at the expense of the entire district 3… This will severely hurt District 3. The CEC, which is led by a PS 199 parent, is now willing to endanger the rest of our district for the benefit of one school, PS 199. It is irresponsible.”

        who coulda’ known?

        • Anon says:

          Dannyboy – I have to say, I am starting to like you more and more with each post. I could have told you back in May that this is where we were headed. Just a shame they put parents through all of this.

          I also suspect that we will be back at this exercise in 5-6 years. Oh well……

          • dannyboy says:

            I have found this to be very upsetting. I thought our community was better.

            • Anon says:

              Dannyboy – Have you seen the NYPost article that went online on Sunday night. A teacher at PS 452 is essentially calling the parents that don’t want to move a bunch of “racists”. Not a great way to repair a pretty damaged community.

              This is all so sad.

            • dannyboy says:

              Yes, I read the article.

              A little self-sacrifice for common good would have made this honorable, fairer, decent. What a mess our neighborhood has created for itself.

        • UWSfedupmom says:

          Very true! And more about real estate values than education…

    9. JP says:

      Where’s the map? I can’t make any sense of this without a map!

    10. Anon says:

      How can the DOE suddenly remove 205 WEA from PS199 with absolutely no hearings, discussion or opportunity for comment? This was not contemplated in ANY of the three draft plans!

      • Anon says:

        anon – welcome to the wonderful rezoning process. To say it has been less than transparent is an understatement.

      • anon says:

        What would be said in any discussion? WEA 205 parents will say they want to stay at PS 199. PS 199 is overcrowded. Someone has to move. 205 has no more rights to PS 199 than any other building

        • adam says:

          205 WEA is literally across the street from PS199.

          • Anon says:

            Not literally across the street. 199 is on 70th. To the immediate wast is 200 WEA is across from that. They have to draw lines somewhere and if they draw it down Amsterdam to the east then down WEA to the west makes perfect sense.

            • Sick of this says:

              It is still not right to present 3 proposals and 4 maps over the course of the process…and the suddenly make a change without any notice or opportunity for discussion. Sure 205 parents may have the same argument as other buildings, but they deserve the right to be heard and not be blindsided. Sounds like retaliation for the uprising of LT families!!! I think it’s shameful and so underhanded. I do agree with the comment that the 199 CEC members are doing what’s best for them at the expense of everyone else. How about move the zone line for 199 to 71st street then- that will cut out the head of the CEC and both PTA presidents. Will they care then?? Will they demand a “fair” process then?!”

    11. Paul RL says:

      Sorry, but this is completely unfair to families who moved into PS 452 and PS 199 zones specifically for those schools. Only NYC would see fit to punish parents for doing such a horrible thing like attempting to provide their children with a good education in a safe environment close to their homes. The DOE and CEC3 both get a “F” here.

    12. Cass says:

      Instead of maximizing seats, the CEC is hiding behind their fear a new school won’t be successful, and thereby cutting overall elementary seats in the district by not only NOT opening a new school and closing a school but also cutting seats at 199. They are ensuring we will be doing this dance again in a few years.

      District 3 need MORE seats not less. They never talk about it (and why not?) but they should be proposing to move Anderson out of 77th Street and give the space to PS452, AS WELL AS open a new school on 61st.

      We will be here again in a few years when there is a shortage of seats due to all the future construction not even considered by a near-sighted CEC and DOE, or else families will be so disgusted by the DOE and CEC that they won’t even show up. Maybe that’s what they are counting on all along, but this approach only serves to reinforce NY Public school’s demise.

      • UWSMom says:

        Anderson was discussed over the past year. Superintendent Altschul announced that the school would not be moved earlier this year. Maybe you should have been paying attention to the zoning process prior to the announcement of a potential 452 move.

      • angeline says:

        The lack of a principal in the pipeline for the new building (or new-old building) coming online has been a topic of discussion for a few years now. It is bad that the best that the DOE can come up with is to relocate an administration, when they had a chance (like WESS) to build a great new school without any of the rancor that we’ve seen.

    13. where's the logic says:

      So from reading this, it looks like the cec wants to eventually vote on a proposal that the cec puts forth. That makes sense…

      • Anon says:

        Where’s the logic – makes total sense to me (sarcasm noted….)

      • mamaebbes says:

        this is the part that is most confusing to me….if I understand correctly, DOE is supposed to come up with the plan and CEC3 votes on it. That does not seem to be happening here. It’s absurd to think that CEC3 comes up with a plan that they themselves must then vote to approve? Hmmm…wonder which way that vote will go.

    14. Craig Heard says:

      Follow the money.

      The property at the current location of PS 452 is extremely valuable.

      Two new condominium buildings under construction of West 77th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue have starting sale prices in excess of $4,000,000.00. The existing building on the northwest corner of 78th Street and Columbus Avenue is undergoing extensive renovations and has asking prices in that same range.

      If the PS 452 property becomes available for development politicians can expect some very generous contributions.

      • angeline says:

        PS 452 does not have its own building, it shares the O’Shea building with Computer School and Anderson. There is no property to be developed.

        • Craig Heard says:

          If it were legal I would make you a bet that they’ll all be gone and replaced by foreign money condominiums.

    15. David says:

      Marvelous! What wonderful news!! At long last, the UWS liberals are getting a well-deserved kick in the pants! For years, they have professed to be oh-sooooooo-liberal in their thinking, but now, at the mere mention that their precious White children will now have to sit side by side with minority children of a poorer socio-economic class, they are in a dither! Talk about the chickens coming home to roost!! The opposition to the proposed plan has nothing whatever to do with the fact that their children will have to go to a different school that may be further from their homes, but rather, that “diversity” is striking close to home……and the UWS liberal crowd doesn’t like that one little bit! I think that’s just great!!

      • izm says:

        Diversity is an admirable goal. The solution is to bus kids who are in minority under-performing schools to better schools instead of uprooting entire schools. If the point is to increase diversity then spread out the under-performing students throughout the various schools. Pronto, we have diversity and more fairness for everyone. Well performing schools with parents who have invested time, energy and tax dollars into those schools should not be punished. The CEC proposal will force invested parents to stand side by side with non-invested parents (little to do with skin color), making all of the schools poorer and unsuccessful!!!

    16. Bonnie says:

      P.S. 87 & 9? You are leaving us hanging

    17. AnonNYC says:

      Just to clarify – is this plan adding a third lincoln tower to the 191 zone? So now 165 wea, 185 wea, and 205 wea would be zoned to PS 191? Or does this new plan only zone 205 wea to PS 191?

    18. A.d.T. says:

      People are understandably upset by these changes – let’s not forget that. Of course it’s upsetting if you go through the work of purchasing a home only to find that you are no longer zoned to the school you expected! It’s hard to contemplate walking a longer distance to school when we’re just barely making it to school on time as it is. It’s disappointing, it’s jarring, and it doesn’t help this discussion to not at least acknowledge that.

      But I hope, too, that those who are upset can understand why rezoning exists: we simply cannot hoard educational resources and allow market forces to concentrate wealth and opportunity in one section of our community. We are members of the whole Upper West Side, and it behooves us to remember that public education is predicated on equal education. And as someone who got shuttled around in a lot of different neighborhood schools in Florida from year to year, I can genuinely say that it can be a truly good experience to put a kid outside of their comfort zone and see different parts of the city; it simply teaches them to think of themselves as being part of a larger community. That 10-15 blocks south can feel SO different is both a testament to NYC and emblematic of the problems that the CEC/DOE is trying to address.

      So: please, everyone – let’s try to understand why people are upset, and honor that. And likewise, let’s try to find a way to overcome disappointment and think about how we can make these new schools – whatever the specific zoning lines or demographic makeups might be – the best they can possibly be. Let’s invest ourselves in our children’s schools and create new communities that are just as awesome as the ones we leave behind.

      And honestly? It’ll be the best educational experience that your kids have ever had, to see how their families went into a new place and made it a home. It’s a skill they’ll use for the rest of their lives.

      • Christine E says:

        But isn’t that what middle school and high school are for. Most students commute in some way and see other nabes. For elementary schools, it is far preferable IMO to be close to home, in the neighborhood, where kids and families can built local ties and bonds. A much higher level of parental involvement is required for elementary school, and that is all much easier when near to home vs some far flung location.

        • A.d.T. says:

          I can understand your point, but the kids are still reasonably within their same neighborhood rather than being sent downtown or over to the East Side (or another borough) like they might be for middle and high school. It’s just not on the same scale.

          • Cass says:

            20 blocks is not the same neighborhood. Just as West 57th is very different than west 77th, and 14th street is different than 34th street, etc. There is a reason NYC has a Starbucks every 2 blocks, a Duane Reade every three and a bank every 1! People generally stay close to home.

            • A.d.T. says:

              I make a similar point in my original comment – yes, a lot changes over even a 5-block distance here in NYC.

              Let me first note that until we see the rezoning map this evening we don’t know exactly what the distance will be – right now the top boundary of the 452 zone is at 78th street, and the old 191 building is at 61st – a 17-block walk. It’s not nothing, and I’m not pretending that it is. It’s absolutely essential that the DOE offers a good busing solution to help parents and students. But also: don’t let that “17-block” distance become a talking point – the southern part of the current 452 zone is at 71st street, and those parents and students will have a walk roughly equal to the one they already take to get to the building on 77th and Columbus.

              However, getting to your main point, assuming a max. 20-block-walk for argument’s sake:

              1.) I think it’s a good thing to encourage kids to see these kinds of changes that happen over a mile’s space,
              2.) I don’t think one mile is onerous in a walking city like NYC (again, I do expect the DOE to provide busing), and
              3.) I believe that covering a one-mile distance is a reasonable sacrifice to make to ensure that our city’s kids have an equal and just education.

              It’s funny you mention chain stores opening every few blocks precisely because of this kind of localist mindset – I happen to think that those chain stores are eroding exactly this sense of place that I want my kids to have when they think of their childhood in NYC. Maybe our tribalism is having an effect on the whole city in more ways than one.

        • angeline says:

          If you look at the composition of “desirable” middle schools and high schools in New York, yes, they may attract children from all neighborhoods but many argue they are not diverse.

    19. NorthernUWSForgotten says:

      Except for one throw away line burried in a footnote, this plan does not address the northern part of the district at all. Shuffling some rich kids a few blocks to a brand new school (with free busses despite the fact that all the parents work in midtown anyway) is the big solution? Maybe for the southern end of the district.

      How does this help the northern part of the Same District, where nobody can send their kids to the zoned schools due to the worst test scores in the district? Oh, I guess it’s business as usual up here in the rarified air and time to get those private school applications done. Anyone in the West 70’s want to switch apartments with me? I’m sure all I will hear are crickets, both here and at the open meetings.

      • Andy says:

        Why is the Northern part of the district and rezoning of PS 9, 84 and 75 to be more equitable being COMPLETELY tossed aside and ignored in the final proposal???
        It was in the earlier version, did not have any controversy around the idea and would have had the potential to help all the schools involved.

        Can some PLEASE comment on what happened here? Why do our pathetic government leaders only care about 1-2 schools and their current issues and ignore every school north 86th St?????

      • Anon says:

        NorthernUWSForgotten – My advice to you is to mobilize parents from your school to turn out at these meetings and speak you opinions. If been to every CEC meeting since May and there have been very few residents of the northern part of this district speaking up.

        The CEC has made it clear to the DOE at these meetings that the northern portion of the district are getting overlooked, but so far it appears that nothing has changed.

        • NorthernUWSForgotten says:

          While I will come tomorrow night to the meeting, there is no “school” to mobilize. Everyone in my position has chosen one of two things for their children; (1) private school or (2) the suburbs. Which is why the school in our zone is not representative of thr population in the zone. Nothing I read in today’s letter or at the one meeting I did attend makes any change to this.

          • angeline says:

            Over the years, the under-enrollment and performance of northern schools is a perpetual topic at working meetings (diversity, zone, middle school).

            Some of these schools have received magnet grants to attract students, but that money has been spent.

            Themes that I’ve heard repeatedly:
            1) No school administration is any worse than any other – many principals/teachers/parent co-ordinators have shown up to talk about their schools passionately.
            2) Controlled choice will fix the problem by assigning a diverse population to every school.
            3) Test scores (except for limited cases) are a strict function of parental income and education, so schools perform accordingly.
            4) The DOE and CEC should promote under-enrolled schools by advertising them, and giving parents a brochure of what each school offers.
            5) The CEC has a hardline position against all charters.

            Frankly, I don’t know what the solution is, and I’m not sure what the CEC (which has limited powers) can do, except eradicate all zone lines.

            • uwsresident says:

              Test scores being a strict function of education and family household income is sadly not a surprise, but are some “limited cases” you refer to charter schools such as Success Academy?

              Regardless of what some might hear about the constant ELA test drilling and preparation, test scores are one of the most objective measures the education system has to compare different schools, and certain charter schools seem to do quite well for that particular metric.

              Controlled choice is probably the only counterbalance preventing a localized snowball improvement compounding YoY too quickly relative to the remaining district schools, or else the district runs the risk of another excellent but overcrowded school close to an underperforming underenrolled school.

            • angeline says:

              I’ve heard from controlled choice advocates, read the voluminous report published by Cambridge public school board (and one in NC). The questions that were not answered to my satisfaction by the controlled choice consultants were:

              1) What was the yield when families were directed to schools with poor test results? % of acceptances? What is the attrition rate at different schools, and sig. difference?

              2) Busing. There is some flexibility to assign priority areas based on distance. How does this play out on the UWS when (except for one example), “good” schools are clustered in southern end and “bad” schools in northern?

              3) Interplay with charter schools – how will this play out when public schools have strong competition with charters?

              4) Title 1 money. Our poorer-performing schools rely on Title 1 money. If the balance tilts, if the scheme works, what happens? The only answer I got here was that Title 1 money should not be a factor. But it is on the UWS.

              5) Can parent advocates get login IDs to test-drive implementations in other school systems? This was a pretty straightforward request.

              6) We have a significant number of non-D3 students in D3 (also because of underenrollment). What happens in controlled choice in this scenario?

          • Melanie says:

            Agree with everything you said, but adding to your list here: 3) a charter school or 4) moving lower into D3/faking an address in a favorable zoned school.

      • berniebro says:

        > Shuffling some rich kids a few blocks to a brand new school

        I don’t thinks a fair assessment. The rich kids go to private schools and for $40K a year don’t have to deal with this nonsense.

    20. Carlos says:

      So other than a) the principal at PS 452 who proposed the resiting of the school and thus alienated the majority of the school’s parents and b) parents at some other schools who are happy where they are and were fortunate to have no change, is anyone actually satisfied with this plan?

      The resiting of 452 makes absolutely no sense to me. I thought they were moving away from this but I guess not. I am very interested to see how many students actually move with the school, particularly those in lower grades. I feel somewhat bad for the Lincoln Towers families, but 199 has been overcrowded for years so something had to give there.

      • Anon1 says:

        Very easy solution to fix PS 199 overcrowding without throwing out Lincoln Towers: do not zone in all the new luxury buildings that contributed to the PS 199 overcrowding and do not extend zone north. For whatever reasons, this request was ignored by the CEC and continues to be ignored by the DOE.

        • NP says:

          The DOE in the past has rejected this proposal by the CEC “on the grounds that it does not differentiate between current buildings and new construction.” (from the CEC letter). Yet they can differentiate between various buildings in Lincoln Towers? Sounds odd.

          I’m actually in favor (generally) of the plan. I like reducing 199’s size; sending more families to 191; and allowing those Amsterdam Houses Kindergartners who want a better educational outcome to access it.

          But this process is embarrassing. The mayor (current and former)and DOE are to blame. And shame on our local leaders for failing to monitor this process along the way.

          • anon says:

            Why is it odd to treat different buildings in Lincoln Towers separately? They are not one building, they are several. This is no different that rezoning Lincoln Guild on WEA and 66th for PA 191. They could even break up the Amsterdam – WEA, 66th to 7th St superblock like they are breaking up the Amsterdam Houses superblock.

            • J says:

              The breaking up of Lincoln Towers is very different from the breaking up Amsterdam Houses. Why? Because the breaking up of Amsterdam Houses is for the benefit of the children who live in Amsterdam Houses, so these children can go to better schools.

            • anon says:

              J is exactly right. The kids from Amsterdam Houses will win with this rezoning. That should be the goal in our liberal neighborhood.

        • angeline says:

          The CEC passed a resolution last year suggesting that any new buildings not yet completed should be “unzoned” – DOE and the city have completely rejected this.

      • Deblasio protects new real estate says:

        Agreed, but why does Lincoln Towers have to give? There are 3 new buildings being zoned in on Amsterdam. After we were already crowded out by the Trump buildings. Lincoln Towers 185 and 165 have 2 kids enrolled in Kindergarten at 199. We aren’t the ones overcrowding the school.

        Think about the Aire rental. Kids live there for a year, go to 199, then the apt cycles to a new family that sends a kid. One apt in the Aire contributes more kids than stable owners in Lincoln Towers.

        • angeline says:

          This point has been brought up repeatedly throughout the years. Under both Bloomberg and diBlasio administrations, the DOE has said:

          1) They will not differentiate between renters and owners
          2) They will not differentiate between newcomers and long-time residents
          3) They will not zone with regard to preserving property values

        • W.L. says:

          I know several families that lived in the 199 zone for one year and subletted their apartment in the upper 90s to avoid going to PS75, and are enrolled in 199. I do think if the DOE verified addresses and enforced the zoning rules, overcrowding would not be an issue at 199.

          • angeline says:

            Under Chancellor’s regulations, as long as you are resident on the 1st day of school, can show a lease or deed or mtge doc at time of registration, students are allowed to move.

    21. Anon says:

      Someone please explain to me how outfitting the Anderson school with a new science lab helps reduce overcrowding and segregation in District 3 elementary schools?

      Anyone? anyone?

      • uwsresident says:

        The request for a new science lab funded by DOE dollars seemed a bit odd. If I recall correctly, additions at other schools were funded primarily through PA dollars, such as the community garden at PS84 or the rooftop hydroponic farm at PS333.

    22. Jen says:

      The problem is not re-zoning. The problem is the inadequate number of schools. The developers are given the green light no questions asked. Then DOE has to figure out how to deal with it. With another high-rise coming up on Amsterdam and 70th, are we going to build more schools or do another ridiculous rezoning?

      Let’s face the issue – we have too many buildings profiting developers with no obligations to build schools or infrastructure.

      Meanwhile we are on each other’s throats because of that.

      • angeline says:

        We got a new school but can’t quite agree on how to populate the school.

        • Sad 452 parent says:

          @ angeline, if they move 452, we don’t actually have a new school. All that hard work – lost.

          • angeline says:

            I should have said, we got a new building. There is consensus (I think?) that PS191 gets it. We can’t decide what goes into the old PS191 building. The DOE clearly abdicated its responsibility in finding a new principal.

    23. Rhys Ulerich says:

      Having watched this process for a couple of years and hit a few open meetings, their claim of “transparency” is a bit generous. For example, where’s the map that goes with this letter? It’s kind of a trick to claim to transparently draw lines without actually drawing lines.

      Anyone have the official documentation from which the CEC3 derives its mandate to address segregation? There’s a “moral obligation” statement, which makes sense of course, but I’d love to see their actual obligations/charter on the matter. Or even their working definition of “segregation” or “socio-economic status diversity”? I saw a white/non-white vs full-price/reduced-lunch pair of axes implied on page 2 but nothing more aside from using building names as a proxy for the diversity of their occupants. The controlled choice meetings I attended were duds, to me anyhow, because no one defined the metrics to which value was to be attached. Concrete definitions aid transparency.

      Regardless of how such terms are defined, has anyone seen a projection of how the diversity of these proposed zones is expected to change over time? Or is the CEC3 fundamentally looking demographically backwards while trying to satisfy their moral obligation? I suspect the future demographic outcomes can’t be predicted with classroom-count certainty (e.g. the table on page 8) until the rezoning process completes, meaning that UWS school kid demographics are in the middle of a strong feedback loop with regard to this whole process.

      Anyone see any language about how they’ll know if this proposal is successful after it’s passed? When it’ll be revisited? If they’ll measure fun things like distortion of rents before and after? Will they disclose what fraction of families won’t receive their first/second choice kindergartens next year but who would have under the prior plan? Is worse to have a school at 105% of capacity afterwards than one at 95%? Lastly, given two years of study, for how many years is this proposal expected to “fix” things?

      • Cass says:

        Very smart questions Rhys. Unfortunately the answer is no, there are none. No mandate to address segregation, no definitions, no projections or metrics for success.
        Please write to the DOE and CEC with your great points!
        I think the CEC is trying to do the right thing but their reasoning is faulty and full of holes. It should also be noted it seems none of them will be personally impacted by these plans. The CEC president himself was fighting to get his kids into 199 a few years ago – claiming the city owed it to him. The zoning committee chair: local G&T program. Another: citywide G&T. They no longer have skin in the game, its very hypocritical.

        • anon says:

          We can understand why a parent wouldn’t like these plans. However, I think the CEC having no skin in the game is a positive thing. They are supposed to serve the entire district. Your children should be no more important to them than any other children. The rezoning should be done to get the numbers of students within the limits for school sizes and to mix the socioeconomic groups as much as possible while not sending small children too far away.

    24. Former 452 parent says:

      Moving a strong school into the vacant PS 191 space sounds like a nice idea. The fly in this ointment: after six months of being embroiled in the rezoning/resiting controversy, PS 452 is a hot mess.

      Glad I got out when I could.

    25. Anon says:

      So our city council woman’s kids go to an expensive upper east private school. Wouldn’t even step foot in PS 199 let alone 191 but she knows what’s good for everyone else. Not one person making these rezoning proposals has any skin in the game.

      Anyone want to run for City Council in the next primary? Any person (parent or otherwise) involved in this Deblasio – Helen rezoning mess is 100% going to back your campaign and will put in the hours to get you elected. This is the time to run – you will have a huge swell of support from all corners of the UWS.

      • angelineh says:

        Prospective parents cannot be on the CEC – parents have to have a child in D3 elementary/middle schools unless you are directly nominated by the Borough President.
        I think that’s 2 spots.

        Our current CEC does not have more than one representative/school that I know of.
        You are allowed to stay on the CEC if your kid has aged out, but was attending a D3 school when you were first elected/appointed for that term.

        If you are a prospective parent in the system, it is true that it doesn’t appear that you have a representative other than elected officials.

        We are in a strongly Democratic district, so the only lever we have is in the primary. To my knowledge, there is no Democrat candidate who would not, in some way or other, keep control of admission to our “extra” building in the district either through zoning lines or controlled choice.

    26. Mystery loves company says:

      The DOE’s formula for forecasting the number of kids in luxury buildings is irresponsible like all of their data and models. It is based on the 2000 census – that’s 16 year old data.

      Let’s see how well it works. The 54 story building planned for Amsterdam Ave is predicted to have 2 children per year for PS 199 using the DOE formula. Does that sound logical or even possible? The building has only 3 bedroom apartments (huge ones – 2 per floor), a stroller storage room and massive playroom.

      The formula does not take into account apartment size, number of bedrooms, or demographics. Really 2 kids going to 199 each year from a 54 story building with those kinds of apartments?

      Now why is this building being zoned into 199 – it’s not even built. Who is paying whom? Very curious and mysterious with DeBlasio’s connections to real estate. DOE talked about moving the Aire to 191 last year and mysteriously the issue “went away.” What’s going on here?

      • Jen says:

        Yes, why the bldgs that have been zoned forever for the school and are literally within steps to the school are being zoned out but the new developments are zoned in? How does it make sense?

        Moreover, the developers of these new condos didn’t contribute a thing to the schools or infrastructure.

        Speaking of the formula 2 kids a year for PS 199 – this is a complete nonsense. My bldg is 30 stories high, mostly one-bedroom and we have about 4-5 kids a year for PS 199

        • angeline says:

          Last year, the CEC passed a resolution asking the DOE to “unzone” all new buildings – meaning that a building which has not been built in an overcrowded school zone does not get zoned to that school.

          This is an option that the DOE and the city gov’t flat out refused to consider.

    27. letsbehonest says:

      Sometimes we all forget that resources – money and space among them – are limited. Scarcity defines living in NYC. I wish parents would just be honest that, while we all value community and diversity and helping those less fortunate, our top priority is our own children/family. I’m all for re-zoning as long as I get to go to the school I want. There’s no perfect solution. It’s like saving the environment – everyone is all for it until it means they have to trade in their SUVs and ride a bike to work in the snow. The reality is 191 is a poor school because of the population it serves and spreading out the population that is more violent with less involved parents than other schools just seems to spread the problem, not fix it. A better solution would be to 1) change the laws such that space has to be carved out for new schools as apartment towers continue to go up and 2) commit to proven, data-driven approaches to tackling poverty so the families from the NYCHA community are stronger and, in turn, can make our schools stronger.

    28. Sceptic says:

      Rosenthal and Brewer are apparently on board w the usual politically correct and expedient matchmaking. Parents can send a message preceding the upcoming election that perhaps their constituents elected them to fight for them and not as social visionary activists making nice and selling neighborhoods out.

    29. UpperUWSder says:

      All these re-zoning discussion for elementary schools bode well for CEC3’s other plan – the change in Middle School admissions criteria. They won’t roll out that one for 2017/18, but that is going to be another fund process for us parents.

    30. voter mike says:

      Rosenthal and Brewer our UWS pol fixtures will discover in November that MANY kids’ parents are single issue voters when it comes to expedient politics versus our kids welfare.

      • Parents against Helen says:

        Unfortunately Helen Rosenthal, city council doesnt have a primary for a year. Please do not confuse her with representative Linda Rosenthal who is NY State Assembly (not city council). Helen only won by 700 votes because people confused her with Linda.

        So far no one is running against Helen because she is the incumbent and she has term limits (one more term). Candidates wait for the seat to open up completely before putting their hat in the ring. But I encourage anyone thinking of running to run in the primary against Helen. She has no voting constituency at this point on the UWS that supports her because she doesn’t support us. And you will have parents like me begging to work on your campaign day and night!

        • Anon says:

          I second the above comment. I do vote, but am not active in the local political scene. Given how Helen and her office has handled this issue (among others)–saying one thing and doing another, I am ready, willing, and able to lend my support to any candidate that throws his or her hat in the ring to run against Helen. I’m certain hundreds…excuse me, thousands of uws residents share my sentiments.

      • Please dont confuse the Rosenthals! says:

        Helen Rosenthal is not a fixture in politics really. This is her first term as city council person. You are confusing her with amazing Linda Rosenthal who is a fixture because she actually works for her constituents and gets results. Meet with each of them and you will know what I’m talking about within 2 minutes of your conversations. Actually just call their offices and you will know.

        • Leon says:

          We should have a referendum that one of them has to change their last name to make things less confusing! I think that is something we can all agree on.

    31. Anon says:


    32. Anon says:

      So nice to see Councilwoman Rosenthal taking a position on the issue. Where has she been for the last year while the District grappled with this issue? While I may not agree with the position taken by Linda Rosenthal or Brad Hoylman on the issue, at least they had the courage to come out publicly and state their positions. This seems to be a common thread I read about her on WSR.

      I’ve said it once before and I will say it again, the way this rezoning has been handled has to play into the state’s hands if they want to determine not to extend mayoral control over the city schools for another year.

    33. LT resident says:

      I live in Lincoln Towers. You can say whatever you want about us but unlike all of the new buildings that surround us and are staying in the 199 zone, we pay real estate taxes. We sent our kids to 199 when it wasn’t desirable and worked to make it a great school. Now that it’s great we are being forced out for the benefit of really rich people in the new steel and glass luxury condos that do not pay real estate taxes. How is that fair. How about making a big zone for 191, 199, and another school and giving preference based on how long a family has lived in NYC (you can use things like eligibility for food stamps and similar programs, voter registration, car registration, NYC resident income tax returns, etc. to document residency). Then a lot of people who lived in the Amsterdam Houses and Lincoln Towers before overcrowding was an issue at 199 will get 1st choice and the wealthy people in the condos can use the money they don’t pay in real estate taxes to improve their kids’ schools.

      • saraj says:

        You were one of the families that helped turned 199 around in the 80s and still have kids there in 2016? Wow! Certainly you know that if your child currently attends the school, they will be grandfathered in and allowed to graduate 5th grade with their current class.

        Can you explain why you feel people who have lived in the city longer deserve better schools than people who have recently arrived? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

        • Anon says:

          Nobody said they deserve better schools. They said they deserve to be at the school they made great.

          Also why is anyone being asked to go to a bad school? Have the DOE fix 191. Then the wealthy new buildings can go.

          • Anon says:

            Nobody is being moved from one school to another. Kids already at 199 and their siblings will continue to go to 199. Any families that made the school great are safe.

          • angeline says:

            In NYC (and elsewhere in the United States), there are very few examples where public, non-charter, non-selective schools, have managed to buck the trend of demographics = test scores. There is maybe 1 school in northern Sunset Park where the scores are very high because a long-time principal has thrown out the textbooks and created his own curriculum for acing the tests.

            I have been told, time and time again by administrators and teachers that the orthodoxy is that your kid will have the same outcome regardless of the school. The other pillar of belief is that mixing children of diverse academic records will improve the poorer performing students w/o negatively impacting the better performing students.

            Given these tenets, it is hard to think how else the DOE and the city will act.

    34. NYC says:

      Understand that people want to protect their own interests, but we can’t ignore the fact that PS 191 is one of the WORST schools in the NYC while PS 199 (only 10 streets up) is one of the BEST schools in NYC.

      Rezoning will hurt certain families and yes it’s unfair, but it will benefit a LOT more low income families whose voice is generally not heard. In the end, it will make the UWS a much more attractive place for all families.

    35. upset parent says:

      I am a 452 parent and I am one of the few parents who plans to send my child to the new school—my child will be a 5th grader next year. However, this plan is illusionary and short sighted. The plan barely addresses the central problem facing the district—PS 199. The PS 199 community has fought any movement of boundary lines for years creating a major overcrowding problem. Will the DOE and CEC guarantee in writing that rising 452 students who will now be rezoned for 199 or 87, will have priority and not be put on a waiting list for 199 and 87? If the CEC believes in their plan this should be an easy give!! That is the only fair solution. I have zero faith that 199 or 87 will not continue to have overcrowding issues under the CEC plan. I believe the CEC knows that and plans to use the new 452 as the overflow school with all rising 452 students being shutout of 199 and 87 despite the rezoning. Rising 452 families will have no connection with either 199 or 87, and thereby be put at the very bottom of the waiting lists.

      • Anon says:

        Upset Parent – thank you for this very well thought out and reasoned response.

      • J says:

        “I believe the CEC… plans to use the new 452 as the overflow school with all rising (current) 452 students being shutout of 199 and 87 despite the rezoning.”

        I think you are correct. At least for the first few years, the new 452 will be an overflow school. If it’s not an overflow school, how could it be even close to capacity? If not for overflow students, only kindergarten would be at capacity. All other grades would consist basically of former students from the old 452, which is a relatively small number. Everyone else from the new 452 zone (except kindergateners) will be grandfathered into a different school.

        So, except for kindergarten, who will fill the classrooms in the new 452? It’s gotta be overflow kids.

        Or am I missing something?

    36. mamaebbes says:

      I’m also very curious about information regarding younger siblings. I am a brand new PS 199 parent. My younger daughter – will she be grandfathered into 199 in a few years or will she have to go to the school we will be zoned for once the rezoning takes our building out of the 199 zone? Two kids in 2 different schools?

      • West Side Comment says:

        @ mamaebbes – As long as you remain in the OLD PS199 zone, your second child wiiil be eligible to join their older silbing at PS199.

        @upset parent – You are wrong about the PS199 community working against the re-zone. I had previously thought that there was machinations (when I was on the waitlist in 2014) – but the reality is that the PS199 community or PTA “at large” has no position on the re-zone.

        • upset parent says:

          @ westside comment. I am glad your child was able to get into 199 off the waitlist. I understand that the waitlist is generally in excess of 100 students. I don’t see how the new plan does anything to address the waitlist issue for existing and newly zoned students. But to say that the 199 community has taken no position on the rezoning is a ridiculous statement. Just read the comments on this post or go to any of the CEC mtgs; they are filled with Lincoln Tower residents. The reality is that the ps 199 community has been very vocal against any rezoning that impacts them–and it is certainly within their rights to be vocal even if I don’t agree with their position.

          • Anon says:

            It addresses the waitlist by shrinking the zone. There will be fewer buildings zoned in Sep 2017 than there were in Sap 2016

      • saraj says:

        After the 2008/9 rezoning, those kids were given out-of-zone sibling priority.

        • mamaebbes says:

          out-of-zone sibling priority….so if the overcrowding issues aren’t fixed (remember, this plan does not ADD anew school that this district so desperately needs), then indeed a lot of siblings will be on waitlists behind zoned kids and likely not get in. I can imagine a lot of scenarios where people pull their kids from their current school and re-enroll in their (soon to be) newly zoned school to ensure that siblings may attend together. What a ruckus for these kids…

        • angeline says:

          With the previous rezoning, due to specific language in the zoning resolution, the priority is as follows:

          1) Zoned siblings and grandfathered out of zone siblings have equal priority
          2) Zoned children who have no siblings in school
          3) District 3 children (who are not in-zone) but have siblings at the school.
          4) District 3 children (if there is space) who have no siblings

      • Anonymous says:

        Under the Chancellor’s rules, siblings are given priority status but are not guaranteed admission to the school to which the older sibling(s) already attend. The CEC proposal asks the DEC to guarantee siblings to be in the same school notwithstanding any zoning changes.

        FYI – Last year, the PS199 PTA asked parents to complete a sibling survey so the school would know approximately how many otherwise zoned-out siblings would be seeking to attend PS199. That data should be available, if not upon request, through a Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) request pursuant to NY Public Officers Law Section 87. To the extent a FOIL request is submitted, PS199 or DOE (whoever responds) as 5 days under State law to respond.

        • Carlos says:

          This was one of the best parts of the CEC proposal – they were addressing an area of concern for a lot of families with a logical solution. Though 199 will be the most impacted, this will have an impact on all schools that are having their boundaries shifted – I hope it was factored into all of their analyses.

    37. Sad 452 parent says:

      As a 452 parent, I want to let the CEC know that morale among the parent body is extremely low.

      If nothing turns around from here, you are looking at a very bad situation for this school post-move.

      • ruby says:

        I am astounded that no one has yet referred to the school re-zoning policy of 1974 (?)
        P.S. 199 became a grade 3-5 school
        P.S. 191 became a K -l-2 school

        Only one other family and my family thought it would work and we wanted to give it a try.

        Unfortunately not one LC family agreed with the plan and subsequently sent their children to private school or mostly moved to the suburbs.

        There were almost no children in our playgrounds in those days. They were all gone to the burbs….

        The UWS was a difficult place to live because of the flight of these families. What will happen now???

        • J says:

          The city today is very different than it was in 1974. Families will continue to flood the UWS despite the foolishness of our elected leaders.

        • angeline says:

          The idea of split-siting one school between PS 199 and PS191 was debated at length last year. An ex-principal of PS199 came to a meeting and testified about why it ended (80s).

          PS199 and PS191 were split-sited in the mid-60s along with a few other schools.

          • uwsresident says:

            >>An ex-principal of PS199 came to a meeting and testified about why it ended (80s).

            Are you able to shed any light on why it ended and why split-siting was not decided upon? If not for 199/191, I’m sure the same question will come up over the years at other school combinations.

            • angeline says:

              In the early 80s, PS 199 was under-enrolled, and neighborhood families were not considering PS 199 as a viable school option (according to the ex-principal, who was both staff and principal). There was talk of closing down PS199 and using it as a daycare center. The staff asked that split-siting be ended because PS199 was the 3-5 site and they said that it was easier to provide academic continuity with a K-5 school. And also (in my opinion), much easier to recruit families into a K class, not so much at 3rd grade. Once the split-siting ended, the principal and at least one teacher (who is still there today) went door to door both in and outside the zone to recruit families.

              Last year, when 303 W66 was zoned out according the proposal, several families spoke passionately for split-siting as a way to integrate PS199 and PS191 (same rationale in the 60s). Their idea was that no-one would be forced to choose between one school and the other.

              Personally, I think there is much to be said for the plan though if you have multiple children, it makes logistics and parent involvement tough. I have seen old articles alluding to the difficulty in getting kids to school on time. Aside from the proponents from 1 building, the idea did not get much traction with other families. Finally, I think what killed the idea was that the DOE did not want to consider it. Partly because of the bad history (none of the schools split-sited in the 60s exist as such today) and partly because the DOE believes it adds no educational value (and complicates transportation).

    38. Sean says:

      Create a fund to campaign for new school construction tied to development. Pressure city hall to make infrastructure a priority. Developers seem to only be pressured to provide poor doors. Manhattan is a luxury housing market. I am guessing it’s private schools are doing well. I always heard that Martin Luther King HS was built with the residents of Lincoln Towers in mind and that they refused to send their kids there. Is this true?

      • anon says:

        I don’t know who MLK was intended for. It would be great if we had a good high school that gave priority to D3 kids. Alas, the schools in MLK are not good high schools.

        • Sean says:

          Looks like the residents of Lincoln Towers remain consistent to this day.

        • angeline says:

          It’s a huge shame that both Brandeis and MLK Jr. are not used more by D3 families.

          MLK Jr. has an abandoned, unused swimming pool.

          As originally built:
          MLK and Brandeis were the 2 UWS HS buildings.
          O’Shea and Joan of Arc (MSC et al.) 2 UWS MS buildings.
          South of 96 – 191, 199, 9, 87, 84, 166, 75 were the original ES. Mickey Mantle (the original PS9).

          • Sean says:

            The residents of Lincoln Towers always thought of themselves as special and pioneers in an urban wasteland. They still think this way. We would not be where we are today if they simply utilized MLK. Maybe they didn’t like the name. Most who bought in the complex weren’t necessarily from the hood.

            • Pigeon says:

              Thanks for the info and thanks for the New York Times MLK article.

              You should post more often; you always have smart things to offer.

    39. Neighbor says:

      Are there any plans for P.S. 9?

      • Karen says:

        If PS452 is moved, the zone for PS9 may change. See Proposal B shown here:

        I think I was the only person who said anything about PS9 at the meeting last night.

        • anon says:

          Karen – I believe you were the only PS 9 advocate last night which really surprises me. I tend to believe the the CEC is grossly underestimating the need for elementary seats in the 70s/80s. I think moving PS452 is going to lead to overcrowding at PS9, PS87 and PS199 a few years down the road. I cannot fathom for me how they think moving a school to serve the far southern portion of the district is going to prevent this.

          Also, the thing that I took away from the meeting last night is that this entire process has now been hijacked by the CEC. Actually, let me clarify, it has been hijacked by certain members of the CEC. This is truly troubling no matter what side of the equation you are on.

    40. NewUWSDad says:

      I’m new to the neighborhood and have been attending the meetings and hearings regarding the potential rezoning. I have child that will enter K in 2017. Do we know what will happen following a Nov 9th DOE presentation? Specifically, will the CEC simply vote in support of a plan that the DOE presents (that seems likely since they authored one that they hope the DOE will regurgitate) or vote against it? And if they vote against it, does that mean the current schools and zones stay in place? So when the Kindergarten Connect process begins in Dec 2016 or Jan 2017, our zoned schools will be what they are today? Appreciate any insights.

      • dannyboy says:

        “have been attending the meetings and hearings regarding the potential rezoning”

        then you are aware that a few members of CEC3 have hijacked the rezoning process.

        because of that, the outcomes are uncertain.

        • Anon says:

          dannyboy – Were you at the meeting last night? Your comment is spot on. It is now clear in everyone’s mind that a select few members of the CEC have completely hijacked the entire process.

          Such a shame.

          • anon says:

            Was anyone on the CEC in agreement with Noah’s “contrarian” comments? If so, it didn’t seem like anyone spoke up.

          • dannyboy says:

            I mada my Comment last night. I cannot accept that the CEC3 sent their plan to the DOE and every elected official and news outlet and SUBSEQUENTLY opened the discussion to the public.

            Am I in the USSR?

            • Anon says:

              Dannyboy – Spot on my friend. I was there last night and made my remarks as well. The DOE is the arbiter of this and not the CEC. How can they possibly think their process is anything but tainted and corrupted. I guess it can’t hurt them that the president is a lobbyist – I can only imagine what he promised (oh, yeah – how about a science lab paid for with DOE money).

              My outrage and disappointment have hit all new levels.

    41. CS says:

      All this destruction wreaked in order to dilute the danger present in one school and to spread it around, thereby alleviating the need for the DOE to DO ITS JOB AND FIX PS191.

      The DOE would rather expose kids to danger than fix the problem itself.

    42. UWS Mom says:

      What is the point of all these hearings from the community if the DOE and CEC completely ignore all feedback from the community?

      Despite the concern from the majority of 452 parents, the CEC is now recommending to move 452, causing major disruption for kids and families who have attended their neighborhood school for years and now have to consider busing.

      Despite the concern from the Lincoln Towers community about how their complex is now split between two different schools, preventing kids in their close knit complex from developing and building friendships, the CEC has completely ignored their pleas (although recognized that a zone line proposed by the DOE in the middle of the LT playground didn’t make any sense).

      Is the CEC really working for our community? These were the two biggest concerns raised by the community regarding the DOE re-zoning plans, and the DOE/CEC could have achieved their goals of diversity and overcrowding without (1) moving 452, (as proposed by 1 of the 3 plans) or (2) splitting Lincoln Towers (by keeping the entire complex zoned for 1 school).

      What is the point of all these hearings if they don’t seem to give a $%&# about community feedback?

      • Disgusted says:

        They are not listening. These meetings are a total sham and a waste of time. My suggestion to 452 families is to give up at this point and focus on enrolling your children elsewhere.

    43. Karen says:

      Moving PS452 is a terrible idea. It will lead to overcrowding at PS87 within a few years, which means we will need to go through this process all over again. If CEC insists on moving 452, they should replace it with another school, not a FLEA MARKET.

    44. Old Judge says:

      I am only an observer who has no children or grandchildren in the district. So I have no dog in this fight.

      What strikes me about this dispute is that nobody in the 191 community which is apparently the intended beneficiary of this shuffle seems to have requested or advocated for it. Now it may be that I am not looking in the right places but, based on what I have read, it seems that all this disruption is unsought and unwanted.

      I seem to recall reading here that the staff of PS 191 argued vigorously that it was a good school that was being unfairly labeled as dangerous. I believe that the higher school authorities were in agreement with them. I also recall that there was no pushback from the parents of the students. If I am wrong, please correct me.

      So what is the point? If there is de facto racial segregation, it seems to have been unintentional. Otherwise, it seems silly to put demographics above all other considerations including convenience to home(which is very important for very young children.)

      I hope that nobody is saying that the mere fact that a child is not white or Asian means that s/he cannot learn properly without a substantial leavening of students from those demographics. That is an ugly assumption which seems to be unspoken in this discussion but which charter schools seem to disprove.

      In short, I have to wonder whether this whole disruption is unnecessary. Who, if anyone, is seeking these changes? If the answer is that nobody is, why have all this turmoil? If the problem is with PS 191 alone, fix it instead of blaming the ethnicity of the students.

      • Sean says:

        Dog fights are horrible

      • dannyboy says:

        “What strikes me about this dispute is that nobody in the 191 community which is apparently the intended beneficiary of this shuffle seems to have requested or advocated for it.”


        Put your dog in this fight. My children are long graduated BUT WE MUST FIGHT FOR THIS COMMUNITY. We are being shamed by selfish power-grabbing people. Things don’t add up to you, BECAUSE THEY ARE BENT!

      • angeline says:

        CEC’s proposal (and yes, they don’t have the power to put forth a proposal) is really an indication of what the majority of the council would agree to, if proposed by the DOE. I have not read Chancellor’s A-185 but I think that they are allowed to do this.

        Last year’s controversial rezoning of PS8 was voted for by a majority of their CEC but not unanimous. Previous rezonings in D3 over last 10 years were (to my recollection either unanimous or with abstentions).

        Old Judge:
        To your first point, this year’s rezoning is a culmination of 4-5 years of work by CEC’s rezoning committee (previous rezoning chair was B. Denham). We have known for 8 years that a new school building was coming on line either 2017 or 2018. In this period, we have known 2 things to be true – overenrollment at PS199 and underenrollment at PS191. Also, very good test scores at PS199 and bad test scores at PS191. PS191 is a Title 1 school, PS 199 is not (and also other demographic differences). PTA Exec board members from 191, principals (and ex-principals) from 191 have come to rezoning meetings the whole time as well as ubiquitous presence from PS199 (sometimes just me). 191 representatives tend not to talk so much during public comment time at public hearings. One idea that was floated very early on was whether any rezoning should split up the Amsterdam Houses. The DOE and the city have been criticized for allowing the NYCHA housing (minus the Annex) to be zoned to one school. It was recognized by most attendees (I really don’t recall any disagreement) that in any rezoning should attempt to reallocate Amsterdam House families equally between the 3 schools (191, 199 and new building). The prevailing thought was that the zoning of the NYCHA housing (minus the annex) to one school was not an accident of history, and one that should be corrected.

        Now, the means of correction has been widely debated (rezoning vs. controlled choice vs. superzone lottery vs. split-siting).

        I’m not an expert on the desegregation court cases, but it also appeared to many at the meetings, that if, say, the new school building were allocated no NYCHA housing that this would create legal issues down the road.

        I wish there were some way to show how the proposals put forward by the DOE does reflect the work done at the meetings and the ideas expressed and debated.

        The one place where the DOE has really dropped the ball is to find a new dynamic principal for a new southern D3 school. We’ve only known about this for 8 years!

        • Pigeon says:


          Thanks for the summary of the proceedings.

          I have a question for you, since you are clearly very well informed.

          If the CEC3 recommendation is implemented and the old 191 building becomes the new PS452, where will the students come from to fill the classrooms?

          The current PS452 students would fill only about half of the old 191 building.

          Would the DOE leave the new 452 (the old 191 building) half empty until, over the course of the next 5 years, it fills up?

          Or will the DOE use the new 452 as an overflow school?

          • angeline says:

            Regardless of whether PS452 is relocated to PS191’s current building, this is what I know of the DOE’s enrollment policies. There is no such thing (AFAIK) as a designated “overflow” school. Previously, students from an overenrolled school could be offered a place at any underenrolled district school.

            Any zoned school first considers 1) zoned children w/ sibs 2) zoned children w/o sibs 3) district resident children w/ sibs 4) district resident children w/ no sibs 5) everyone else in NYC

            I’m not a NYC principal or administrator so the following is just conjecture.

            Hypothetically, say PS452 is official moved to PS191 building, the prudent thing for the administration to do is to figure out the # of returning children in 2017. After it has this number and after the K connect process (remember, kids can 1st choice from all over NYC), it is possible that PS452 will have 5 K sections of children who 1st choice the school. The admin then crunches numbers, consults with the DOE (they only get funding/kid and debatable as to whether they get new school startup money) as to how many K sections they will open. Also, add to that, at any time during the school year, any NYC resident child can show up at 452 (or any school) and asked to be considered for admission (I think this can be done directly w/o going to the District Office uptown at 388 West 125th Street). The admin will then budget and ask DOE for money depending on how many children it will enroll.

            It seems to me that the DOE won’t fill the 191 building and give 452 a chance to build its student population for the next few years.

            So the long-winded answer is if neither school (191 or 452 if it moves) fills to capacity with zoned students or returning students, they can still hope to attract students who first choice them and hope that the DOE allows them to admit those students. Of course, the DOE could also assign students from over-enrolled schools to either school.

            Simultaneously, there are other organizations watching both spaces at 61st and Amsterdam and the new building at 21 West End to see if these buildings will be used to capacity. Charter schools are always, always looking for space. Both locations are desirable (if not to zoned students), to other educational organizations.

    45. NewUWSDad says:

      Here’s what it seems like to me, a father of a 4 year old currently zoned for PS 75, who has attended a couple of CEC meetings and has read all of the articles written here is happening:

      1) The DOE knows there is an overcrowding issue in the district, has a new facility to help relieve some of that overcrowding, but is not confident in their ability to staff a new elementary school from scratch. So, they’re moving the 452 faculty and administration to avoid having to try, and are willing to inconvenience the families that currently attend 452 in it’s current location in the process.

      2) The DOE thinks they can compensate for the lost seats represented by 452 by moving zone lines for 87, 9, and 199.

      3) The DOE believes that moving the faculty and administration from 191 to a new facility and giving them a more socio-economically diverse mix of students will make them more successful than they’ve been in recent years, and they’re asking families who currently attend 199 (and other schools) to take this leap of faith with them.

      4) The CEC believes that by asking current 199 parents to trust that the DOE is right that the 191 leadership and teachers will be more successful with a more diverse student body to educate and to send their kids there, and by asking 452 parents to endure longer commutes and give up the “neighborhoodness” they understandably love, they will achieve a worthwhile goal of having 3 successful schools (452, New Riverside Center and 199) that are socio-economically diverse, and end an unjust practice of zoning nearly all of the children in a low-income housing project to one school.

      The problems I find with all this are:

      1) The lack of transparency on the part of the DOE and CEC. They haven’t presented sufficient evidence to support that their plan will successfully diversify the 3 schools they hope to. Nor have they provided sufficient evidence that the plan can successfully avoid a return to overcrowding at 87 and 9.

      2) The fact that the DOE and CEC simply believe that the faculty of 191 will be more successful with a more socio-economically diverse student body. They may be right, but it’s understandable for parents to question this and to be concerned that their kids are being moved into a school with a faculty and administration that has not been successful.

      3) The fact that the DOE is zoning unfinished, unoccupied luxury buildings into the 199 catchment. Seems like they could wait to see how many kids will need to be educated from those buildings as they open for sale or rent, then spread them around the nearby public schools evenly.

      4) The timing. I understand it would be wasteful to have a new facility ready to go and not fill it (especially when overcrowding is a real issue), but it’s understandable that parents who are being asked to move or to take a leap of faith on an unsuccessful faculty would want time to react. Perhaps families who are uncomfortable with the 191 faculty would want to see them in action, meet them and meet the parents of current students. Maybe if they did that over the course of this school year, they’d be more comfortable to send their kids to their new facility in 2018. And if they’re not, they’d have time to relocate or find a private school option. And maybe if current 452 parents knew that in 2018 they’d be moving 10 blocks south, they could make preparations or likewise seek an alternative public or private option.

      I’d say this is just my 2 cents but it’s clearly more like a few dollars worth.

      • Pigeon says:

        You hit the nails right on their heads, NewUWSdad.

        Yes, we the people need to feel good about the school changes. If we don’t, then the changes stand a great chance of failing. It’s the DOE’s job to make us feel good about their proposals. The DOE is failing to do this. It seems like they’re not even trying.

      • angeline says:

        New dad:

        1) A major issue with the process is that people who have attended the working meetings over the last 4-5 years have seen where this process was headed (maybe you can call this our echo chamber) and agree with most of the ideas (i.e. drastic reduction of 199 zone size, splitting NYCHA housing). Zoning, that is, not the proposed 452 move. But for people who have just moved into the neighborhood, who don’t yet attend the schools involved, why would they (exceptions of course) go to these meetings until the final stages when we’re about to have a vote and they hear that they are zoned out? The CEC and the DOE have been put under tremendous pressure (and this isn’t wrong) by the educational equity taskforce (forget the actual acronym) in D3 to address the socio-economic and racial imbalance in D3? Their representatives and supporters have faithfully attended and participated in zoning/ overcrowding meetings for the last 2-3 years. We have not found a way to engage prospective parents and the wider community in the process leading up to these hearings. It seems that people get involved (again there are exceptions) only when their building gets rezoned. We have known for so long that a new zone had to be carved out for a new building. It would have been easier to just have the Riverside Center school serve the new buildings and older Riverside Blvd buildings without touching Lincoln Towers or NYCHA.

        2) Yes, everyone talks out of every side of their mouth when it comes to diversity, student performance and teacher quality. The official DOE dogma is that students of all abilities can be educated at every school, yet it also recognizes that there is a racial and socio-economic gap that we have repeatedly failed to close. Contradictory, no? We can’t blame the teachers, and we can’t blame the students, so about the only thing that everyone can agree on is that diversity will produce change.

        3) Can’t unzone new buildings, city just won’t consider it. Don’t know why.

        4) Anyone impacted by change (including myself) will always ask for more time. Last year, the opponents of the zoning motion asked for one more year. This year, they’ll ask for one more year. And so on. The truth is, by the time we have observed change in one school, likely the affected children will have aged out.