A parent spoke at Wednesday’s board hearing as her baby grabbed the microphone.

Community Education Council 3, the Upper West Side version of a school board, took a bold stand this week when it drafted its own rezoning proposal instead of waiting for the Department of Education to act. And on Wednesday night, it took the brunt of the criticism over that plan.

“We did this to own the process,” said Kim Watkins, the chair of the zoning committee. “We want to be responsible for our own destiny and we wanted our neighbors to know where we stand.”

Kim Watkins (center, holding microphone) and the rest of CEC3 sat at the front of the room and listened to public comments for hours.

The Department of Education is reviewing the CEC3 letter and is expected to draw new zoning lines (after presenting three other plans before that now appear to be moot). The CEC will then vote on the lines. *We have more on the role of the CEC and why it’s not like a traditional town or suburban school board at the bottom of this post.

Eighty people signed up to speak at the meeting, held at PS 75 on 95th Street (most but not all ended up speaking, for two minutes apiece). More than 100 people were in attendance. Some people spoke out in favor of the plan — Clara Hemphill of school information and review site InsideSchools called it “courageous” and “long overdue.”

“Thousands of children will benefit in the future, many of whom haven’t been born yet.”

But the majority of speakers registered confusion and anger. The most aggrieved appeared to be parents at PS 452, who would move to a new school, and Lincoln Towers residents who would now be zoned for PS 191. “I am speechless,” one resident of 303 West 66th Street said. “Our comments and concerns were completely ignored.” Multiple people also mentioned the possibility of having to move to Westchester for better schools, and were met with a chorus of boos at the prospect.

A few observations from reviewing the plans and listening to several hours of comments:

gary-ramsayGary Ramsay criticized Councilmember Helen Rosenthal at the meeting.

We will have much more on this issue, and will soon publish some columns about PS 452 from parents. If you attended the meeting, or have opinions, let us know in the comments!

*The CEC3 is not like a regular school board that votes on budgets. It has less power, and less accountability (because members are not elected by the entire community). The 12-member board is made up of 9 parents of local elementary or middle school kids, 2 people appointed by the borough president and one high school student who doesn’t vote. They approve zone lines, hold hearings on capital plans, evaluate the superintendent and provide guidance on other issues.

NEWS, SCHOOLS | 144 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      “With a final vote scheduled for Nov. 9, there is not much time to figure this out.”

      CEC3 played us all with this gambit.

      “People on the CEC sees this issue in explicitly moral terms, as righting decades of wrongs”

      I know what moral is and this is not moral. This is using the cover of morality for cover.

      more to come…

    2. dannyboy says:

      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?

      (reposted from the October 18 discussion)

      more to follow…

    3. Carlos says:

      I understand what is happening with 191 and 199 as this was a solution to resolve overcrowding at 199 and diversify and strengthen 191. It was not handled cleanly or transparently but something had to be done, and someone was going to be unhappy.

      But I remain totally befuddled by the resiting of 452. Having those kids walk through several other zones to get to their school makes no sense. Why not put 452 in the 199 building and move everyone else down? I am also unclear on the logistics of this, both in terms of existing students (who I assume will have to relocate there or be considered out of zone for any other school?) and entering students (same rules – if I live in the heart of the old 452 zone, is my zoned school now the one 10-15 blocks south?) This has not been made 100% clear. I am glad that I do not live in any of the materially impacted zones.

      • Citizen says:

        I agree about re-siting 452 to 191. Purely for logistical reasons. Walking through one school zone to get to your own school is crazy for elementary! AND I’m a ps 199 parent.

        • Crazy says:

          Citizen –

          I have 2 children at PS 452 and have honestly been neutral on the entire process (my commute will stink, but my kids will have a bigger school).

          I did a little googlemaps research. If PS 452 moves, I will have 3 schools (PS9, PS 87 and PS 199) closer to my home than the newly relocated PS 452. How on earth is that fair at all??? One parent said it well last night – if the CEC is so confidant in their plan, let the parents who don’t want to follow go to their newly zoned school.

          • Citizen says:

            I agree with you, ‘Crazy’. I meant to make that clear in my post. It’s NOT right to re-site 452.

          • anon says:

            The 452 echo chamber in here is a bit deafening, but fyi, I am being re-zoned from PS 199 to the M342 building. I live closer PS 199, PS 87 and PS452. You alone are not being persecuted.

      • Anon says:

        The PS 452 principal suggested moving the school to the 191 building. He has hated sharing space on 77th St since Day 1, he wants to make a name for himself by proving that a school can thrive in that locations. He has the 452 teachers on his side and the PTA leadership. The CEC never would have come up with this plan on their own.

        • Disgusted says:

          Then let the 452 principal and the small handful of parents who support him go to 61st street. Give the rest of us spots at PS 87, which is the school most of us wanted anyway.

    4. dannyboy says:

      “The lines of authority are not entirely clear.”

      I publicly commented on this last night. Th line of authority have been breached. The process coopted. CEC3 has usurped the process which is clearly defined in Chancellor’s Regulation A-185. The CEC is only authorized zoning changes that have been approved by both the Superintendent and then the Dept of Ed.


      • Anon says:

        Danny’s, isn’t that what will happen. The CEC came.up with the plan but now the DOE will present it to them, they will vote and accept it.

    5. dannyboy says:

      “On Tuesday, Rosenthal released a letter supporting the CEC3 plan and praising its attempts to add diversity. She noted that the plan was put forth by ‘your neighbors and fellow public school parents.'”

      you can put all the political firepower behind this and it remains a ‘plan OPPOSED by ‘your neighbors and fellow public school parents’ These pols are pushing things against our will, and WE NEED TP PUSH BACK!

      • Kudos to Rosenthal says:

        Last year our City Council (where Rosenthal serves) 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”.


        This is likely one of the major reasons that she understandably supported it.

        • dannyboy says:

          Yes, she supports diversity.

          Yes, I support diversity.

          Does that now mean that every plan is a “plan [was] put forth by ‘your neighbors and fellow public school parents.’” and should go ahead?

          i don’t think so

        • Parent says:

          Clearly you work in her office. On the UWS someone supporting diversity is not hard to find, but someone supporting Helen…that’s a tough one.

    6. Nick says:

      The CEC should be commended and the UWS will be better for their leadership. It is all too easy for the CEC to acquiesce to loud voice speaking for their own self-interest.

    7. CS says:

      How about establishing some rules at PS191 and removing kids who are causing the problems so that others can learn? Add police, add more teachers, pour in money, WHATEVER IT TAKES, but don’t just spread the problem around! DO YOUR JOB DOE!

      A school that is majority zoned for people who are poor does not have to be broken up because the DOE can’t manage it as a sound, safe and powerfully helpful school. It should function as a proud and great school for the people who are zoned for it, WHATEVER THE MAJORITY COLOR OF ITS STUDENTS, and the DOE has a responsibility to make it safe and productive; it is not allowed to bust it up to make the troubling aspects “disappear”.

      • DOE Wha? says:

        One thing is very clear from this document and the rezoning discussion in general.

        The DOE has given up.

        Assuming they ratify this document, the DOE is essentially admitting that a) they can’t fix PS 191, b) can’t find a leader for a new school, c) no longer have authority over the local Community Education Council.

        Yes – WOW!

        • 22 high rises plus 1/3 NYCHA = success says:


          I take offense at your statements that we should not “spread the problem around” and that 191 is “majority zoned for people who are poor”.

          What you and some othets are arguing for is a “separate but equal” system, which the Supreme Court in Brown vs the Board of Education (1954) ruled as unconstitutional and immoral.

          The segregation in our neighborhood is defacto (as opposed to legalized), but the effects are just as harmful. Our City Council took Brown vs the Board of Ed. one step forward and passed the School Diversity and Accountability Act, which states that the DOE should actively zone for diversity.


          I think we should be clear about what the root problem here is. The problem here is the segregation that ensues when hundreds of families in a large zone simultaneously avoid a school. It’s really sad because the 191 zone could have easily have had 150 kids per grade (like 199 does) if the local families had supported the public system.

          With little more than 30 kids a grade from NYCHA, the school would have only been 20% low income – similar to P.S. 9 (which is 19% low income). However, too few families have been willing to be “pioneers”. What is needed in these situations is a “critical mass” shift so that everyone is making the leap together. This is exactly what is happening on two fronts.

          – First, we have 8 luxury high rises being rezoned from 199 to 191 at once.

          – Second, we have 2/3 of the NYCHA kids being zoned out of 191 (save grandfathering).

          Unfortunately, comments like yours are not helping. They are hindering people from seeing past yesterday’s situation to learn more about the amazing possibility / reality we have before us.

          We’ve all seen the movie Westside Story, set in the late 50s/early 60s, which has as its setting and filming our exact neighborhood. Just a few years after the film was shot, 199 was erected. In fact, if you see the helicopter-filmed camera pan in in the opening scene, the school yard in the movie was at the exact location where 199’s exists today.

          Let’s at once and for all end that gang (them vs us) mentality. Our Westside Story can and will be rewritten. We can build the critical mass that we need now – in a gorgeous school erected for everyone.

          • Charade Over says:

            22 High Rises,

            We know you’re a CEC member pretending to be someone else.

            • 22 high rises + 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

              No, I am not, but I’ve been told by some of them I should run 🙂 – though that’s not happening.

            • 22 high rises + 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

              I know it may be hard for you to believe that someone who has no self-interest here (not being rezoned, no public credit for efforts, etc.) would actually know and care so much.

              I am not CEC, but I am a district parent and former educator who knows how the system works (and doesn’t).

            • 22 high rises + 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

              You keep posting this question. See my longer answer under 11.

      • Jen says:

        Can’t agree more. This is spreading the problem around and not resolving an actual issue. Understood it is always better when parents are involved but what do you do when they are not? Parental involvement shouldn’t be the main solution but supplemental.
        Main problem of PS 191 is some students’ attitude and behavior. Which they learn from the parents but not from their lack of parental involvement. So discipline and instilling good work ethics in schools is crucial.

        As CS said – more rules, better discipline so children can learn. Let the teachers lead the class, not a few bad apples.

        • Juan says:

          I agree with you in theory, though don’t think that every kid from Amsterdam Houses is a bad apple. That being said, the best solution would be making sure these kids are ready for school. Most do not have the resources to prepare them for kindergarten, so they are starting out way behind, and now it will be even harder for them as they will be surrounded by upper middle class and wealthy children of highly educated parents.

          As much as I generally don’t like the Mayor, universal pre-k is a good start. Implement other early childhood programs to get these kids ready. Otherwise, we are just throwing good money after bad and not solving the problem.

          • Jen says:

            I apologize for this misunderstanding. I do not think that every kid from Amsterdam Houses is a bad apple, not even close. My son attended pre-k at PS 199 and I saw how sweet and nice all little kids were. And it wasn’t an eye-opening experience either; I knew how it was going to be and had no reservations to send my child to PS 199.

            What I meant to say, it take only a handful of bad apples to ruin the thing for everyone if there’s no guidance and adequate discipline.

            I loved all my son’s classmates from different backgrounds. They all could have had good future in front of them provided good education. Some of them can’t count on their parents in many aspects. But education is a DOE responsibility. If we are going with the trend parents are everything why not advocate homeschooling and abandon public schools?

            • Jen says:

              PS 191 I meant

            • Juan says:

              My child also attends school with a number of disadvantaged children (note that this is an economic issue, not a racial issue). In the early grades, they are on average very sweet, happy kids, largely indistinguishable in many ways from their wealthier peers – I love seeing this diverse group playing together. However, it is clear from day 1 that many of these kids are showing up for kindergarten already way behind. By the end of the year, they are usually in the lowest reading groups. This is not because the teachers or the system are against these children. The teachers are doing the best they can to help them keep up. But they are not getting the support at home or via pre-school programs to prepare them to succeed. This is where our time and money would be best invested. As I said above, I think universal pre-k is a really great first step (and I generally am very anti-DeBlasio).

            • Anon says:

              I agree with Juan that many of the kids at 191 are behind their peers with UMC well educated parents. For this reason the rezoning is a great idea. When these kids are concentrated in one school the teachers, as dedicated as they are, simply cannot give each child the time they need, When they are divided among 3 schools some of which have 5 or 6 classes per grade, there will only be a few in each classroom. They can get more support. This benefits everyone. We all need every child to graduate high school with a good education.

        • dannyboy says:

          in future comments, can you describe children as other than “bad apples”?

          • Jen says:

            Yes. I didn’t like it the first time when it came out in my post, was sort of quoting this reference of someone else but it doesn’t make it right still.

            There are older children with issues at PS 191 but they need help more than anything. However, dispersing them among other schools taking the responsibility off DOE who is supposed to be in charge instilling the rules and providing extra help, isn’t a solution. Public schools are rules by the same entity and the standards should be similar. The standards shouldn’t be different from school to school, relying solely on parents. DOE is the responsible party there.

    8. SEG says:

      Unclear to me why I — and several hundred other parents of PS452 kids — have wasted their time and energy attending the sham CEC meetings all summer. If no one cares about our opinion, they should have just said so from the beginning. This is a horrendously corrupt process lacking all transparency. The members of the CEC should be ASHAMED of themselves for doing something this underhanded.

      • Also a concerned parent says:

        I hear and feel your frustration. The process is horrible. Regardless of the process and the outcome, though, in the end some people will be disappointed. I will point out that plenty of parents at PS 452 do support moving the school because they believe it will be a better facility and will eliminate many difficulties that come with co-location. Also pls note that the entire school only has 150 families

        • Pigeon says:

          452 has only 150 families in the entire school? I didn’t know it’s a boutique school.

        • Another West sider says:

          Just FYI: there are more than 150 families. More like 250.

          • Also a concerned parent says:

            Nope. 150 families. (315 students). Totally understand concerns about removing those elementary seats. But PS452 was created to have 3 classes per grade and has never been able to fill those seats, even including out-of-zone kids. Reasoning 452 zone to 199 and 87, then shifting zone lines north (sort of a ripple effect) makes sense. Another thought not currently on table (but maybe useful later if seats are needed) is that a small middle school, Center School, currently takes up some space in PS9.

            • 452 parent says:

              Sorry, also concerned, you are incorrect. The number of families at PS 452 is closer to 250 than 150. The “we support the move” letter sent to Chalkbeat had about 50 names, which totaled about 30 families (spouses were asked to sign separately to make the numbers appear greater than they are). And only a handful would have children in the school post-move.

        • frustratedparent says:

          I don’t agree. If you take a closer look at the small amount of parents who support the move of 452 you will notice that they are really speaking out in their own self-interest. It has nothing to do with anything but their own selfish desires.I have noticed it is either one of two reasons that 452 parents support the move. Reason one is that they have a child who will be graduating this year or next so they will hardly be impacted by this move. So why are they speaking out when they could go quietly into the night? Becuase they all are in desperate need of middle school recommendation letters from the principal of 452 who is the main reason this move was initially put on the table. Aligning themselves with the principal will help their cause for a nice letter. The other parents that I have noticed who have come out against this move don’t even live in the neighborhood. They are out of zone parents who send their kid to 452. A move to the new location for many of them will actually be an easier commute to get to with the 59th street subway station close by. While you might think its fine to support the move for your own self-interest what is not right is to do it under the guise that you are doing it for any other reason as many of them have stated.

          • Also a concerned parent says:

            Ps 452 parents who support the move want their kids to have a dedicated building that’s age-appropriate, to have PE in a gym or school yard and not in a classroom, for their administration to focus on education instead of on scheduling shared spaces with the other schools in the building, to begin the school day early enough for working parents to drop them off, to be able to do science experiments in the yard, to have a library and computer lab, to get PT/OT/speech in a private room instead of a hallway. And to have a diverse zone (rather than getting it by making the minority kids travel as in scenario c). Also the middle school application does not ask for letters from the principal.

            • 452 parent says:

              also concerned, are you actually a parent in the school? If you are, then you well know that 452 kids have PE in the gym, there’s a PT/OT room, and working parents have the option to drop their kids at 8:15am. As for the Principal’s greatly exaggerated claims about the hardships of scheduling, if that prevents the entire PS 452 administration from focusing on education, then they’re none too competent at their jobs.

            • Unreal says:

              PS452 parents who support the move should attend their zoned school and weigh in on what happens in their zone. That leaves about 2 pro move families who are actually in zone and will actually have an impacted child.

              PS 452 kids do have their PE in a very nice and very big gym, and they do have a really great school yard which they love. They also have access to a library which they choose not to use. Would it be great if PS452 had more room? Sure. So move Anderson, a CITYWIDE G&T out of the O’Shea complex and give the space to 452. Put Anderson (which, mind you, is a CITYWIDE G&T school) in the to be vacated 241 building. Better to keep (and add) seats to this part of the district by permanently closing them, in a re-site scenario.

              Oh and PS, yes Middle Schools certainly do request recommendations.

            • very concerned parent says:

              Oh come on! Most of your comments are completely baseless…as you know quite well 452 kids currently have PE in a gym and not in a classroom. Also I really don’t think our administration is spending countless hours on scheduling instead of educating our kids. And you wanting to start the school day early enough so working parents can drop their kids off, well that sounds worse then crying over having to walk 15 blocks to the possible new location. Also who is currently doing PT/OT/speech in the hallway? where are you coming up with these things? And to have a diverse zone? The whole problem with this proposal is that it doesn’t change anything about diversity. And its really interesting because it sounds like you know a lot about the middle school application process? Hummmm. Well as I am sure you know there is certainly the opportunity to provide recommendation letters with any application as I am sure you are already working on yours….

            • Huh? says:

              Interesting. My 452 kid had OT in the OT room and PE in the gym just yesterday.

            • 452 dad says:

              Middle schools do request recommendations – maybe not from the principal but since the administration is for the move, I know several parents who are against the move but have chosen to stay quiet in order to not jeopardize their recs. I don’t think our administration would cheat children depending on how the parents’ feel regarding the move but there is that “fear”.

            • HB says:

              As Unreal briefly mentions, move the Anderson school!! that school can be anywhere and will have a great following! Why is this so complex?? This is a citywide school that happens to be in the middle of the best UWS block. If your child scores well and is lucky enough to win the lottery for the Anderson school, parents will send their kid to Anderson no matter where the location. MOVE ANDERSON!! I would send my children to Anderson in a heartbeat if we were lucky enough to get the lottery – even if they move to Washington Heights!

    9. Don't fall for CEC Plan says:

      The CEC talked aboutending segregation, but their plan is entirely about protecting PS 199 abd reducing its zone size. The CEC was presented with a plan to end segregation and it turned it down. That plan would have allowed all children from 60th st. to 72nd to all go to the same schools. It was called share siting. Everyone would go to one school for K-2 and another shcool for grades 3-5. Tat would have ended segregation immediately. But the CEC didn’t want it because there was no way PS 199 would have accepted that plan. The CEC president is a PS 199 parent and the rest of the CEC, excluding Noah Gotbaum) is following their leader. Please don’t fall for the segregation arguments te CEC is makeing. They could better deal with segregattion by accepting shared siting or controlled choice as Mr. Gotbaum advocates. The CEC only cares to protect PS 199 at the expense of the everyone else in the district. He’d rather have everyone at PS 452 losr teir school than have PS 199 have 6 kindergarten classes. IT’s shameful. STAND UP TO THE CEC. MAKE YOUR ARGUMENT TO THE CHANCELLOR, IT’S HER SCHOOL SYSTEM, NOT THE CEC’S.

      • Citizen says:

        The CEC head used to be a 191 parent. I think she genuinely cares for those students and wants that school to improve too. She’s put in a ton of hours on a volunteer basis and I have no reason to think she had ulterior motives.

        • CEC has ignored community says:

          The CEC head is Joe Fiordaliso not Kim Watkins. He prtoects the interests of PS 199. The CEC’s latest proposal has his workings all over it. Kim Watkins has worked trelessly on this. I don’t know if she is just falling in line with Joe or not. What is abundantly clear is that the CEC has completely ignored the large majority of the community that has partaken in this process for the past few years.

          • MattE says:

            Yes, Joe bought Daniel Katz’s vote by assuring that Daniel’s kids school Anderson which currenly shares space with 452, will now have a brand new Science lab when they push out 452. What a total disgrace this guy is to say he has a moral obligation when he is completely in it for himself. Moral would mean controlled choice!

            People on the CEC see this issue in explicitly moral terms, as righting decades of wrongs, particularly to the children who go to PS 191, where the majority of children are black or Hispanic. “We have a moral obligation to stop segregation,” said CEC3 member Daniel Katz.

            • Also a concerned parent says:

              Oh and just to clarify – the science lab that has people in a tizzy already exists. It takes up what would be classroom space in ps452. If is very nice but is not appropriate for small kids. Was installed when the building served only middle school kids (as it was designed to).

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

              I was disappointed too that Controlled Choice wasn’t instituted (not even in a test case in the southern region).

              However, I can speak from experience that Kim and Daniel genuinely want to make impacts in improving equity in our schools. That is not some crazy “liberal” agenda, but it is their responsibility. After all the opening of the CEC’s mission statement is that the CEC3 “believes that every child is entitled to a high quality education, a safe and healthy school environment, and equal educational opportunities”.

              Their work has been guided by this mission and has been very professional, so please stop attacking them for taking a pragmatic approach to addressing issues in the southern area of our district (I am referring to decision to share NYCHA buildings among 3 schools, and not P.S. 452).

              It’s very much like the need for the “Bernie or Bust” people to move on and join the more moderate Clinton agenda (to make sure that at least some improvements go through). I get it. I voted for Bernie too.

              I can see that many people are understandably upset that the CEC’s proposal doesn’t address many issues in the northern areas, but it is an unprecedented and courageous attempt to make some lasting improvements in our district.

              If Joe wanted to act inappropriately in this situation, he would have nixed the idea of adding more NYCHA houses into 199 – but he didn’t. The addition of the houses doesn’t help reduce 199 to 5 classes, and the 3 kids per grade that usually come from each LT building (the DOE’s estimate) isn’t overly related to 199’s concern for having 5 classes. Let’s all commend the leaders of P.S. 199, Joe included, for welcoming the NYCHA houses into our P.S. 199 community with open arms.

              The reasons behind the need for rezoning Lincoln Towers are complex and not part of some scheme of self-interest. Part of Lincoln Towers is being rezoned because we need to add blocks to the north (because 452 may be moved) and blocks to the south (to share our area’s diversity). Additionally, with all of the negativity coming out of 165 and 185 WEA (with them claiming that 191 is not a viable option), the CEC is concerned that people realize that there is a “critical mass” of people zoned to 191. Adding in 205 WEA actually strengthens the situation by making it less likely that the LT 185 and 165 families feel isolated.

              Of course they are not isolated… The zone as last planned has 17 luxury high rises in it now, and it will have 22 after the Riverside Center area is development. It will be 22 luxury high rises plus 1/3 of NYCHA (about 13 kids per grade after grandfathering), and that is a recipe for success.

    10. Anonymous says:

      Under NYC Chancellor’s Regulations A-185, 45 days have to pass between DOE’s presentation of a plan and the CEC’s vote on it in order to have sufficient community and parental input. Sounds like another ground for an Article 78 proceeding to overturn whatever will be proposed on November 3.

      • angeline says:

        Can you cut and paste the language from Chancellor’s reg? The version I see says “within 45 days” which indicates that 45 days is the max, not the min.

        I don’t see a min. time period in the regs.

        • Anonymous says:

          I stand corrected, and my apologies. The CEC must vote within 45 days of a DOE proposal. Below is the entire Chancellor’s regulation A-185:

          NYC Department of Education
          Regulation of the Chancellor
          Category: STUDENTS Number: A-185
          Issued: 1/14/05
          In 2003, the newly-created Community Education Councils (CECs)were given authority under the Education Law to approve zoning lines, as submitted by Community Superintendents, applicable toschools under their jurisdiction, consistent with Chancellor’s Regulations. This regulation implements that provision of law.


          A zoned district school is a school where eligibility to attend is based solely on
          residence within a defined geographical area within a district. Zoning lines are the
          boundaries that define such geographical areas.


          A. Community Superintendent Responsibilities

          1. Community Superintendents shall be responsible for submitting proposals for
          new or changed zoning lines to the CECs for approval. (See IIB below).

          2. Prior to submitting a proposal for new or changed zoning lines to the CEC,
          the Community Superintendent shall consult with the Regional Superintendent and the Local Instructional Superintendent, and shall secure approval to proceed from the Office of Student Enrollment Planning and
          Operations (OSEPO). The Community Superintendent also should consult
          with appropriate school communities, including the parents of children who will be affected by the proposed change, prior to submitting the proposal to
          the CEC.

          3. When submitting zoning line proposals to OSEPO, Community Superintendents must provide the following information in the manner described in Attachment A of this regulation:

          a. Statement of the proposal’s purpose

          b. Schools involved in the proposal

          c. Effective date for initial implementation

          d. Projected date for full implementation (if proposal requires a phase-in

          e. Projected numbers of students in each grade to be moved among all affected schools in the first year of implementation

          f. Projected grade organizations, projected student registers, building capacity and utilization, and ethnicity of student registers in all affected schools and programs

          g. A complete description of all zoning line changes

          h. For proposals that will be phased in, a statement of how students will be admitted to the affected schools and programs in each year up to full implementation of the proposed changes, and a statement of any
          priorities for the selection of students

          i. The need for school bus service and public transportation in the first year
          of implementation

          4. Community Superintendents must submit the above information regarding zoning line proposals to OSEPO in writing, in accordance with a timeline published annually by OSEPO.

          5. Following approval by OSEPO, the Community Superintendent shall submit
          the proposed zoning lines in writing to the CEC for approval. Proposals shall be considered submitted to the CEC when the Community Superintendent or his designee delivers the proposed zoning lines in writing to the CEC office or via e-mail to the CEC President.

          6. Following approval by the CEC, the Community Superintendent shall forward
          to OSEPO a copy of the resolution adopted by the CEC. (See IIB3 below).

          B. CEC Responsibilities

          1. CECs shall be responsible for approving the zoning lines submitted by the
          Community Superintendent for zoned district schools.

          2. For zoned district schools that also serve students through a choice option,
          CECs shall be responsible for approving only the zoning lines for students who do not attend via the choice option.

          3. CECs must vote on zoning lines within 45 days of submission by the Community Superintendent.

          4. High schools and, except as specified in IIB2 above, schools and programs housing students from more than one community school district through a choice option are not covered by this Regulation and are not within the jurisdiction of the CECs. The Chancellor is solely responsible for these
          schools and programs.

          III. APPEALS

          Parent associations/parent-teacher associations may appeal zoning line decisions made by the Community Education Council to the Chancellor within ten days of the decision.

          Appeals must be submitted in writing and must state specific grounds for the appeal.
          Appeals to the Chancellor must be filed c/o Office of Legal Services, 52 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007.


          A. OSEPO and the School Construction Authority (SCA) shall provide appropriate
          technical assistance in the preparation of proposals that are submitted in accordance with this regulation.

          B. OSEPO shall maintain current maps of district boundary lines and school zoning
          lines that shall be open to public inspection.

    11. Citizen says:

      How many Amsterdam Houses kids will be at 191, the new school and 199? What percent of the overall school population will they constitute in those schools?

      • Citizen says:

        If we’re talking a handful of kids in each class, then isn’t a moot point? No racism here – I’m highly in favor of desegregation on the UWS. I just wonder if people are commenting based on assumptions rather than fact. The numbers would be helpful

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


          You hit the nail on the head. The numbers show this is all a mute point. P.S. 191 has only 435 kids across ten grades (prek-8). The middle school grades and pre-k grades are larger than the k-5 classes, which have just over 40 kids in them.

          According to DOE stats 77% of P.S. 191 kids are low income. It is also my understanding that just over 30 kids in each grade are from NYCHA.

          The current proposal splits up NYCHA fairly evenly across three schools (199, 191, and likely 452). P.S. 199 is getting the two northern NYCHA buildings (to add to the NYCHA extension it already has) and the rest are split between 191 and the school at the Amsterdam facility.

          During the first years, P.S. 191 will have more than 1/3 of the kids from NYCHA because of grandfathering. However, its zone will have entirely shifted so it’s a completely new situation.

          This new zone adds 8 new luxury towers to the 9 that already existed in the zone along WEA and RSB. That is so substantial and is exactly the critical mass that is needed to get people excited about his gorgeous new school. The buildings being added are 3 Lincoln Tower buildings, 4 additional Trump towers, and the Lincoln Guild Co-Op at 303 West 66th.

          So in all, we will have 17 luxury towers plus part of the NYCHA development. Soon the Riverside Center will be finished and there will be a grand total of 22 luxury towers. No wonder the CEC thinks that the 191 zone will eventually need enough seats for 150 kids per class (up from ideally 100 in 2017).

          I am somewhat embarrassed to be talking about the situation in these terms (don’t worry there won’t be too many NYCHA kids), but this is the information that many people need to hear to help alleviate fears. In the transitional years, there will be about 25% kids from NYCHA in the kindergarten classes. That number will drop to about 9% as grandfathering wanes and the Riverside Center is completed (13 out of 150 kids). The ironic reality here is that in less than a decade, P.S. 191 will be more favored than P.S. 199.

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

            oops, meant moot point!

          • Been a parent at both 191/199 says:

            There is free after school programming at 191, which is not the case at the other schools. If the rate of low income families changes drastically, that benefit may also change at the new 191. Alternatively, families no longer zoned for 191 may choose to send their kids to 191 (as they will likely have spots available) which will alter the desegregation. These working families rely on that after school care. I hope there is a plan to address.

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

              I am so glad you brought this up. This issue has been bothering me for so long.

              Currently, many low-income kids at 199 go to a free or reduced (not sure which) after school program down in the low 60s. They are walked every day there by the staff of the program. Many of these kids are from the NYCHA extension, which is already part of 199. The NYCHA kids who are newly zoned to 199 may have that option too.

              That said, I believe that 199 should provide more opportunities for low income kids to receive free or reduced programming at 199. It is a shame that isn’t happening. It’s an issue because the program at 199 is private and there needs to be a mechanism with standards for the inclusion of these children at 199. Let’s encourage 199 to look into extending the after care for low income kids ASAP. I had one low-income parent tell me that an employee of the after school told them that if they want to attend Sports and Stuff, “You’ll find a way to pay for it”. That’s unacceptable. Someone who earns 10 dollars an hour makes 1,720 dollars a month. Half of that would have to go to Sports and Stuff!

              Again, the numbers here are so tiny that these issues should be doable. Our area is too rich to allow so few to fail.

              As you write, it would be a problem if 191 allowed kids who were not zoned to it (and were also not affected by grandfathering) avoid 199. In the past this has happened because they were so desperate for children because of under-enrollment.

              However, the estimates for enrollment are 2 to 2.5 times the number that they have now and this should not be a problem (that’s short term). Long term, the school will have more than 3.5 times more kids entering it than before.

      • angeline says:

        That’s something impossible to ascertain. You can figure out the number of kids zoned going forwards but:

        1) Children can continue in the school they are in.
        2) Any child can enroll in an underenrolled school.

        Hypothetically, children from Amsterdam Houses and outside District 3 can continue to attend PS191 if it continues to be underenrolled and no-child now attending has to move.

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

          What Angeline writes is accurate. The children who are currently attending P.S. 191 will continue to do so. Through grandfathering (see my comment above), siblings of the current children also have the right to go to P.S. 191 (instead of 452 or 199 if they are rezoned). P.S. 191, as an under-enrolled Magnet school also took kids from outside of their zone in the past.

          However, the number of out-of-zone kids 191 had in the lower grades (that will no longer be entering) was minute in comparison to number of kids that will be re-entering under this entirely new situation.

          As I learned in a CEC meeting, the vast majority of out-of-zone kids that you see in P.S. 191’s stats were from the pre-K (attracting families from schools like 199 without pre-k programs) and from the middle school.

          • Charade over says:

            22 high rises,
            You have no kids involved and you went to all these meetings? You pretend to live in Lincoln Towers and know the thoughts and minds of kim, dan and ,joe.

            Stop the charade! We know you are a CEC member pretending to be someone else supporting the plan.

            • 22 high rises + 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

              I know it may be hard for you to believe that someone who has no self-interest here (not being rezoned, no public credit for efforts, etc.) would actually know and care so much.

              I am not CEC, but I am a district parent and former educator who knows how the system works (and doesn’t). I did not stop being an educator the day I left the classroom and I can still make a difference. I know that can be hard for banker types to get.

              Any one who has been going to the small zoning working group meetings (which obviously you have not) knows who I am by now. That’s also why I try to post in a respectful manner.

              This has been a contentious and difficult process. You have the right to be extremely upset and there is an informed case to be made for any side of this debate. However, I would hope people would stop suggesting that CEC and / or 199 PTA members are acting inappropriately. You may understandably feel that their positions are inappropriate, but their behavior has not been.

              I have not personally spoken to Joe about zoning, so I cannot speak for him. However, I have seen enough to know that there is nothing funny going on here. The real story here (that nobody is talking about) is how 199 has been happy to be part of a compromise in which some NYCHA buildings will enter its zone. When in the history of the city has this ever happened? If the CEC process were all about self-interest, this would not have happened. Adding NYCHA neither helps 199’s scores nor its enrollment numbers, but this is happening – as part of a compromise – and I am proud of 199.

              It’s hard for anyone to step outside their box and see the broader picture here. It seems like the CEC position is very extreme, but it actually exists in the middle between to ends of a debate (talking about 199/191 here and not 452). As I keep posting, it is also consistent with the School Diversity and Accountability Act, which was passed last year by the City Council.

              On one side, you have Controlled Choice people saying they did not do enough. On the other side you have people who would prefer as little rezoning / change as possible because they are affected. In my experience, when both sides are upset it usually means there has been some kind of meaningful compromise.

              As you can see in all my posts, my experience/concern is regarding the 199 / 191 rezoning and not 452 (other than the fact there is no room in this area of the region for Anderson, and any concerns people may have about NYCHA).

    12. UWS Mom says:

      The CEC’s plan REEKS of SELF-INTEREST, particularly how it is insisting on the re-siting of 452 (one of the CEC member’s child goes to Anderson which will benefit immensely by getting 452 out of the building). Even the DOE seemed more reasonable in proposing 2 plans that kept 452 at its current location.

      It makes no sense to uproot a NEIGHBORHOOD school for the benefit of a CITYWIDE G&T. How does that help the community at all with overcrowding and diversity?

      All those hearings were a complete sham. None of the feedback was taken into consideration. The self-interests at play here is so obvious, and the community needs to call the CEC members out for it.

      • Unreal says:

        Lots of people agree with you. Self interest and flagrant back door, out of order, dealing. There is every reason Anderson should be moved out of that building (and into the soon be vacated PS 241 building, for example) but it doesn’t ever get discussed, perhaps bc of the composition of the CEC board.

        • Anon says:

          I agree Anderson doesn’t need to be in that building. Moving it by September wouldn’t address the following issues
          1) PS 199 is overcrowded. Its zone needs to be smaller. Moving some buildings out of the ps 199 zone will make some parents unhappy.
          2) a new school building on WEA and 6 the st will soon be ready. It needs to be filled.
          3) PS 191 is failing. No 5 year old in the neighborhood should have to go to that school as it is today.

          The plan the CEC laid out addresses these issues. It also moves 452, at the principal’s request, to a building better suited for elementary aged kids.

          • Carlos says:

            Very easy solution:

            1) Move Anderson to the current 191 building. There are early elementary school kids in Anderson who also could benefit from being in a true elementary school facility.
            2) Moving Anderson out of O’Shea allows 452 to expand, so rezone some of the kids in the upper part of the 199 zone into 452, freeing up space at 199. Re-zoned 199 parents won’t be thrilled, but I think they will be a lot happier with this than some of the current alternatives.
            3) Spend a few dollars to make O’Shea more appropriate for younger kids. This shouldn’t be that hard. The money that is being spent bussing 452 kids to 191 could be reallocated for this purpose.
            4) Move some of the Amsterdam Houses buildings into 199 (since we have now freed up space there), breaking up the large cluster that now feeds into 191
            5) Move the rest of 191 into the new building, potentially taking some kids from 199 to adequately utilize the space (those parents will also be unhappy, but that’s life). We could also add a G&T or dual language program to the building to make it more attractive. And be sure there is a pre-k.
            6) If the 452 principal is so miserable being in a shared space, re-assign him to another school.

            Was that so hard?

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

              The CEC has considered every possible iteration like yours. The Riverside Center school was built because we actually need those seats in the southern section of District 3. When the 5 buildings get completed in the Center it will be even worse.

              If you move Anderson, a 550 child k-8 school, you erase most of the gains in seats in our area. By adding 452 to our area we are not losing much needed k seats because the vast majority of future kindergarten children from the 452 area (except for grandfathering) will be going to schools north of 199.

            • hb says:

              Love Carlos’ suggestion. It really solves majority of the problem by moving Anderson! So sick and tired of politics. can we focus on what’s best for the kids? as mentioned many times, does NOT make sense moving the current 452 kids to the 191 school. Who came up with this idea? unreal. If this really is the principal’s request, this needs a very good explanation.

            • Jason Wyle says:

              But where does that leave the children of the parents on the CEC? Maybe you can ask CEC member Daniel Katz if he is willing to move Anderson after his public comment at the meeting this week where he told all the people in the audience about the moral responsibility we all need to show in these times for the greater good of the ALL the kids. I assume he meant all the people in the audience not actually the ones on the CEC committee with kids in Anderson, 199, and 9…..What a joke!

          • Concerned says:

            Why isn’t anyone questioning the principal’s motives here? Is he really doing it for the good of the district and disadvantaged children? If he were, wouldn’t he be willing to open the new school? 452 is running smoothly and could surely be handed over to another principal. In my opinion this is a career move on his part.

    13. bibyrdi says:

      The goals of the CEC “declaration” are admirable, but the way they want to reached them are flawed, especially when it comes to PS 452. The numbers simply do not add up in favor of the move and the rationale, e.g. a middle school, doesn’t make any sense.

      • Also a concerned parent says:

        First, the OShea building was designed and built as a middle school – much less appropriate for smaller kids. Second, have you gone through the middle school application process? Very frustrating that there are so many high-performing kids competing for a limited number of seats at high-performing schools. More elementary seats lead to a need for more middle
        School seats. Would be great if computer school could expand a bit.

        • Carlos says:

          If O’Shea is so inappropriate for younger kids that they need to move 452 out, then what about the kids in K and 1st grade at Anderson who are still there? The logic doesn’t hold.

          • Also a concerned parent says:

            Less appropriate. Not impossible. Ps452 and Anderson have successful schools in oshea. But the 191 building is designed for little kids. There are many advantages to ps 452 moving in terms of the facility. And that doesn’t even address the advantages of diversity or budget (very hard for a 2-section zoned school to operate under DOE funding setup).

            • Disgusted says:

              Here’s a thought. Why not give current 452 families a choice of attending 87 or 199 (new zoned school) or following the Principal and teachers to the 61st street space? If the 452 principal is as amazing as the pro-move families claim, clearly the vast majority of families will opt to stay.

              HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA good luck with that!

        • Give it a rest says:

          The argument that 452 has to move because the building is “designed for middle schoolers” is the silliest of Principal Parker’s ever-changing arguments. Clearly, the Anderson elementary school kids are doing just fine in the same space. Plus, there are plenty of schools that function VERY well in a space that wasn’t explicitly designed for Kindergarten students. See: PS 166, Manhattan school for children (also located in a former and current middle school), and plenty of others all over the city.

        • Anon says:

          One of the points of this exercise is to add elementary school capacity for the future. The DOE has said multiple times that the creation of a new school at the old 191 space will maximize elementary school seats for the southern portion of the district which leads to a less overcrowding issues. So please don’t state that the district doesn’t need any additional elementary school seats.

    14. Pigeon says:

      452 Parents,

      Under the new proposal, wouldn’t you all no longer be zoned for 452? Wouldn’t you all be rezoned for either PS87 or PS9?

      If so, couldn’t you send your kids to one of those schools?

      Or am I missing something?

      • pigeonyoga says:

        The issue is that most of those schools are already at capacity. They have to accept up to 32 children in each class there so there might be a few spots but not many. All of the local schools (87, 199, and 9) are going to be maxed out with people banging at the doors to get their kids in. I don’t think the CEC or DOE has taken this into account. If I was a parent at 87,9, or 199 I would be just as pissed because their classrooms will get larger regardless. Funny enough the same overcrowding at these schools was the reason 452 was built in the first place.

        • Anon says:

          pigeonyoga – The 32 number is a recommendation set forth by the UFT. The DOE can require more students into a classroom if the demand requires it.

    15. Virginia says:

      One question: is the overcrowding at PS199 due to influx of kids from the Trump building development??

      If so–if any of them are attending PS199–they are the children that should be sent to PS191

      • 22 high rises + 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

        They are rezoning 4 more of the Trump towers to P.S. 199 in this plan. Out of the whole strip from 59 to 72nd, only 2 will still be zoned to 199 (240 an 220 RSD).

    16. upset parent says:

      The CEC gets to pat themselves on the back for coming up with this awful plan to “end” segregation, yet their plan only addresses three schools and utterly fails to address the overcrowding problem. They are working off decades old information and think that addition by subtraction will somehow work. The CEC even admitted that this plan only works for 2 years (maybe 4 years at best). They are taking 300 seats out of the 452 zone (which sits between 199 and 87) and not replacing those seats. They somehow expect PS 199 and 87, schools that are already overcrowded, to absorb the lost 300 seats. I have zero faith that 199 or 87 will not continue to have overcrowding issues under the CEC plan. The CEC knows this 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. If the CEC truly believes in their plan then rising 452 students who will now be rezoned for 199 or 87 must be granted priority at those schools. This should be an easy give if the CEC is being honest. Unfortunately that won’t happen, and once the again the current 452 zoned children will not have access to their zoned school. Shame on the CEC them for making 452 kids their pawns!!

    17. Lincoln Square matters says:

      Where in any of the scenarios for PS161 is there any real discussion of how the Dept of Education plans to make true improvements, other than by diversity. Further, the Center School was moved out of PS199 in 2008 and the need to create additional school space in Lincoln Sq and the UWS has been over 10 years too late. Why is the planning always belated?

    18. upset parent says:

      The CEC is a bunch of hypocrites. They appear to be standing by while a former thriving school in Harlem PS 241 has been overrun by a charter and now has to be merged into PS 76 (a school that is already overcrowded). The PS 76 parents made an impassioned presentation to the CEC against this merger, and no one on the CEC (except the representative from Harlem and Noah) spoke out against the merger or to ask what can be done to help. Why??? Just because this issues doesn’t make the news doesn’t make it any less important!! The CEC wants to paint anyone standing in their way as racist, yet when a predominately African American school that was thriving just a few years ago needs help, no help is given and the solution is to make it another schools problem. This is not that different than what they want to happen with PS 191 by hoping that the Lincoln Towers families will fix it. I would welcome those PS 76 parents who spoke at last might meeting into the 452 community with open arms.

    19. Anon says:

      Just so people know what you are dealing with. The CEC manifesto sent to the DOE states that the re-siting of PS 452 has the support of the PS 452 SLT. The PS 452 SLT has never voted on the matter. The parents at 452 received a letter last night that states in part:


      So now, it’s acceptable to attribute the public statements of an individual and aggregate them into a vote of approval by a board of those people. WOW. That’s a new one.

      But hey, Helen Rosenthal stands in support of these guys. We should all be happy.

      • Unreal says:

        “Has my family sacrificed to stay in this zone? Absolutely.” “When we made the decision to stay in the city, we entered into a pact with the city. That pact was that my child would go to his or her zoned school.” – Joe Fiordaliso (New York Times, Jul. 12, 2010).

        As for Kim Watkins, she went the G&T route instead of her zoned school.

        As for Helen Rosenthal, she was incredibly comical 2 CEC meetings ago with her non-sensical “I’m so educated about diversity” comments. This from a women who sends her kids to tony private schools.

      • Surreal Dad says:

        Helen of Troy Rosenthal has been disingenuous. She encouraged families to fight privately but then stabbed them in the back. In last nite’s sanctimonious proceeding, they used the word “segregation” more times than they have in the last two years of discussing this issue. Some PR firm or person has clearly advised them to use this new language to give them the “high ground” The truth is Kim Watkins took her kid OUT of PS 191 and Rosenthal sent her kids to private school. Both insist that 191 is great even though only 16% of kids there CANNOT read at their grade level. There are schools with poor kids of diversity in the city and country, that are doing well, Why Not 191? The shameless and falsely self righteous CEC3 along with the DOE want to blame the passengers of the train for its de-railment. Their solution of abdication is to flood the school with white families to raise the scores and they get to say “we did it”

        This report calls the moves BOLD. Really! Its bold to not have a plan for how you will provide a better education for the kids in the poorly performing schools? Its bold to hide behind the false ideology of diversity? CEC3’s diversity committee has been empty and un-chaired for YEARS! Clearly a priority for them. Its bold, to draw in ultra high rise developments into the catchment of one the best schools in the city? They also have NO plan for the northern part of the district except to close a school. One parent said “I have never seen any of you up here before”

        CEC3 is not bold, innovative or serving as diversity activists. They are using PR code and arbitrary sharpies to make an embarrassing problem go away. They DO NOT represent the community and have in fact taken every opportunity to ignore the alternative solutions created by parents that would actually help them accomplish their diversity and over crowding goals.

        As for Helen Rosenthal – She should seek another office next year if she wants to remain in public service. The public here has found her “service” wanting to say the least. WANTED: UWS Pol who listens and has skin in the game, please apply. New Yorkers preferred!

        • Surreal Dad says:

          Meant only 16% CAN read at grade level. Apologies!

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

          You are comparing apples to oranges here. Kim has worked so hard to build an entirely different situation here – and you cannot even see it. I’ll be brief here, but see my more detailed posting further below.

          The new kindergarten classes are going to be in an entirely new building with an entirely new zone. 8 LUXURY HIGH RISES are being added to the 9 currently LUXURY HIGH RISES along WEA and RSD. After the Riverside Center is finished, 5 additional buildings will be added for a grand total of 22 luxury high rises in the 191 zone.

          There are only just 30 kids from the NYCHA buildings entering kindergarten every year, and this number will be shared across 3 schools (191, 199 and likely 452).

          P.S. 191 will quickly go from 77% low income to about 25% low income (in the kindergartens). To put this all into perspective, P.S. 9, which is highly respected school, is 19% low income.

          As the Riverside Center is completed and interest continues to expand, P.S. 191’s new kindergartens will drop to 9% low income 13 out of 150 kids). P.S. 199 is currently 7% low income and that will rise with the increase of 2 additional NYCHA houses.

          • Surreal Dad says:

            Still blaming the innocent kids and their poor families for the failure of the schools? So you’re putting a new paint job on the same system including curriculum, principal, teachers, etc,. What changes are being made by the “engineers” of this train to keep it on the tracks? They don’t even know! New building, No Plan, Same System = Lipstick on a pig!

            • 22 high rises + 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

              Those are some important questions that need to be addressed. That’s why I say the time is now to get involved do something to contribute to the situation.

              It does not help to discredit the new kindergarten under an entirely new situation before it even opens. Like I wrote in the last article, that’s Trump saying the election is rigged before it has even been started.

              My hope is that many people tour the pre-k program at 191 and see how fantastic it is. Scores of 199 parents have had their kids educated there (including one of 199’s PTA presidents) and loved it. Get an amazing free pre-k education in a gorgeous building in 2017 or 2018. Once you are there you can get a sense from what you see and the other families in the pre-k if this is for you.

              Maybe you already have a pre-k, but tour the new school and talk to families in the pre-k and k before making these specific assumptions.

    20. Anon says:

      Why aren’t the parents of existing PS 9, PS 87 and PS 199 parents up in arms?

      PS 452 was created to alleviate overcrowding in these schools. Moving PS 452 to the southernmost portion of the district is only going to bring back overcrowding in these schools. You should be very worried about this.

      • pigeonyoga says:

        They will be soon when they realize their class sizes are going to be maxed out at 32-33 kids! Also I would imagine any of the out of zone people currently in those schools with siblings yet to enter might now be turned away.

      • 22 high rises + 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

        I feel really bad for the 452 families that feel displaced – especially the 50% that were actually zoned to 452.

        Eliminating the 452 zone would cause a lot of overcrowding if the DOE did that and nothing else – but they are rezoning 11 zones and it’s covered.

    21. Timwest96th says:

      The DOE is pathetic and should be completely embarrassed. They absolutely look like amateurs that the CEC basically hijacked the process and sent forth a plan that has absolutely no merit regarding changing seat numbers and diversity.If they wanted real change they would have put an option in with controlled choice. The only thing this plan does is cut down the calss sizes of PS 199 where Joe the head of the CEC’s kid goes and gives a boatload of more space to Daniel Katz childs school Anderson which shares space now with 452.

    22. RIP 452 says:

      “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.” Mark Twain. All these CEC meetings, meetings between the administration and parents at 452 have been a complete waste of time. 6 months ago Parker should’ve just come out and said, “Game over. Sorry parents, we’re moving the school you worked so hard to build, we don’t care a rat’s ass about anything you have to say, and there’s no use complaining cause we’re going to shove the new location and commute down your throats.” Kudos to the 6 families who left 452 over the summer. They were smart enough to see through all this bs.

    23. Concerned says:

      Why not just make all students go to their newly zoned school? Everyone seems so eager to offer up 452 as the sacrificial lamb. Let’s See parents from other schools put their money where their mouth is and offer up their. children to switch schools (for the good of the district, of course.)

    24. Also a concerned parent says:

      I agree controlled choice sounds good in theory – give everyone an equal chance of attending any district school. But think what that means in a district that stretches from 60th to 125th st. Parents now upset at having to travel 10 more blocks might have to go 30. Applying to kindergarten would be like middle school – touring multiple schools all over the district, then ranking and hoping. Do most UWS families want this?

      • Anynymius says:

        Of course they don’t want controlled choice. They only say they want it because it sounds great on paper and makes them feel tolerant of diversity. But at the end of the day, every parent is looking out for the best interest of their own child. And with controlled choice, you get grandfathered in to your current school. It only impacts new applicants. So no 452 parent would ever have to drop their kid off at a school on 96th street before heading to their midtown office building.

    25. Cass says:

      Thank you, WSR, for presenting this story with commentary that is factual and accurate, not biased as some of the other local papers (DNA, Chalkbeat etc)

      • Anon says:

        Absolutely agree. Huge kudos to WSR reporters for providing comprehensive and unbiased coverage of this issue, for sitting through many hours of CEC meetings and doing your due diligence. The NY Post could learn a few things from you.

    26. Betrayed Parent says:

      CEC’s claim that its letter is supported by most parents is both dishonest and ludicrous.  Most PS 452 parents who live in the zone oppose moving PS 452.  It is also an insult to our intelligence to say that re-siting PS 452 is the best solution.  Moving 452 will (1) increase over-crowding at PS 87, the very school whose over-crowding that PS 452 was originally created to alleviate, (2) NOT increase the aggregate number of seats in the Southern District 3, (3) NOT increase integration or diversity, as most people who are forced to move won’t actually be zoned for the new location, and (4) create discord among parents at the new location, which would be a terrible to run a school.

      PS452 already absorbs a large number of students from out of zones, including many students from Harlem.  Shrinking the zone and leaving PS 452 at 77th street to allow more out of zone students to join is the BEST way to integrate, increase economic diversity and give parents and children a sense of community.  You’d be integrating at 4 schools instead of 3 and maximizing seats in the district.

    27. happyfeet says:

      The most unbelievably hypocritical thing about all of this that no one has seemed to call out is that when CEC President Joe Fiordoliso himself was in the same exact position as 452 parents, a couple of years ago with 199 where his kid goes, he came up with his “pact with the city of New York” argument that his child and every child is entitled to attend his neighborhood school and not an adjacent zoned school. The DOE agreed with him and we all know that was that. But now I guess he could care less that PS 452 parents are entitled to have a “pact with the city.” Under his plan, the CEC is violating every pact that the city of New York has made with each of its PS 452 families.Joe’s hypocrisy is absurd. How has this not been taken into account?

      • Unreal says:

        Mr Fiordaliso was notably absent due to a “prior commitment” – and spared himself from the public’s outrage over this very point. Although his is the most glaring, he is not the only hypocrite in this process – surreal dad does a great job of pointing out the others below in post #28.

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

          Any solution within a highly contentious situation is going to have winners and losers. I do empathize with people who feel like they have had their world turned upside down.

          However, that does not mean that the process was corrupt. Have you noticed that there are people from both sides who are really mad? On the one side you have the controlled choice advocates who say that they didn’t go far enough. On the other hand you have the people who wish that no (or as little as possible) changes in zoning would be made at all.

          In terms of the 199 / 191 rezoning – the decision to share the NYCHA buildings and rezone as necessary to desegregate was a pragmatic compromise between these to opposite ends of a controversy. It’s not a perfect solution, but I commend well intentioned and tireless work.

    28. Surreal Dad says:

      Helen of Troy Rosenthal has been disingenuous. She encouraged families to fight privately but then stabbed them in the back. In last nite’s sanctimonious proceeding, they used the word “segregation” more times than they have in the last two years of discussing this issue. Some PR firm or person has clearly advised them to use this new language to give them the “high ground” The truth is Kim Watkins took her kid OUT of PS 191 and Rosenthal sent her kids to private school. Both insist that 191 is great even though only 16% of kids there CANNOT read at their grade level. There are schools with poor kids of diversity in the city and country, that are doing well, Why Not 191? The shameless and falsely self righteous CEC3 along with the DOE want to blame the passengers of the train for its de-railment. Their solution of abdication is to flood the school with white families to raise the scores and they get to say “we did it”
      This report calls the moves BOLD. Really! Its bold to not have a plan for how you will provide a better education for the kids in the poorly performing schools? Its bold to hide behind the false ideology of diversity? CEC3’s diversity committee has been empty and un-chaired for YEARS! Clearly a priority for them. Its bold, to draw in ultra high rise developments into the catchment of one the best schools in the city? They also have NO plan for the northern part of the district except to close a school. One parent said “I have never seen any of you up here before”
      CEC3 is not bold, innovative or serving as diversity activists. They are using PR code and arbitrary sharpies to make an embarrassing problem go away. They DO NOT represent the community and have in fact taken every opportunity to ignore the alternative solutions created by parents that would actually help them accomplish their diversity and over crowding goals.
      As for Helen Rosenthal – She should seek another office next year if she wants to remain in public service. The public here has found her “service” wanting to say the least. WANTED: UWS Pol who listens and has skin in the game, please apply. New Yorkers preferred!

      • Really??!! says:

        So let me get this straight…. Are you saying Our Councilmember Helen Rosenthal sent her kids to private school, purposefully opting out of the UWS NYC public schools, and then she is strongly weighing in on where I should send my kids to public school?? Really??!! Has she provided an explanation why she didn’t make use of the city public schools?

        • Rick says:

          OMG! I didn’t know Helen sends her kids to a private school. How can she even begin to understand diversity and the issues that parents of public school kids have to deal with? No wonder she could care less about the plight of 452 parents and Lincoln Towers residents. She is a total embarrassment to the UWS. How did she ever get elected to represent us?

          • Angeline says:

            This question always comes up. Can someone who is not using public schools opine or be trusted ever to do the right thing?

            Bush twins public.
            Clinton/Obama private.
            Trump private.
            Romney? McCain? Did not look up.

            Of the 4 front runners in the Democratic primary for City Council, Noah was the only one to have his kids in public. This was front and center in his campaign. Definitely a huge plus. But I disagree with his views on controlled choice, and also he was ambivalent about starting a new middle school in the old Beacon space (something that had a tremendous well of support).

            So I voted knowingly for a candidate who did not use the public school system.

          • anon says:

            Yup, private schools, expensive apt, banker husband. Guess she doesn’t have to spend her time worrying about unfair zone lines upending her future. Hey power to her, but don’t make pretending to be some savior for the UWS your little play thing hobby when you have no intention of walking the walk.

            Who knows how she got elected, I just want to know how to get her unelected.

      • B.B. says:

        Well you better get used to the words “segregate” and “desegregate” along with “equality” and the rest, because it is coming from the top down. Only the buzz words have been changed to “inclusion” and “diversity”.


    29. CS says:

      Anderson G&T should be an illegal school. Kids are not gifted or talented at 4 years old, sorry. This is just a mechanism to protect certain kids from the masses.

      Want desegregation? How many black kids go to Anderson? And of those that are black, do they test in like everyone else or are they quota’d in?

      The reality is that VERY few kids get into G&T schools without prepping for the exam (zero that I know of) and most parents PAY for their child to prep for that exam. The entry exam for G&T does not test giftedness or talentedness anymore than the high school SAT does, TRUST ME, I KNOW IT VERY WELL.

      The lying DOE will tell you DO NOT PREP YOUR KID FOR G&T, but EVERYONE knows that prepping is widespread and the DOE knows as well as does the Anderson school administration and the administrations of EVERY G&T school. It’s the dirty little secret, isn’t it.

      G&T is legalized segregation and should be made illegal immediately. It is segregation because for a kid to be considered, the kid must score high on an exam. Poor children DO NOT score high on exams because they often cannot afford the prep tutoring nor the time to tutor their children.

      • Jonathan says:

        100%, I personally know families in Anderson that started prepping their kids with note cards and quizzes at the age of 2. It’s unfortunate because many of those kids will struggle later on when they can’t keep up. As for diversity I would love to see the numbers for Anderson. The worst part about this is that many of the truly gifted children who are actually deserving don’t have parents who even understand the system and how to prep test for it. They certainly are not being guided by parents or private tutors. Its a complete shame. The main reason the DOE never touches Anderson is because many of these kids are from DOE families. And the CEC has several parents with kids in Anderson currently.

      • sailgirl says:

        Actually, the DOE provides a free handbook for prepping for the G & T test. You do not need to pay for tutoring to have your kid succeed on the test. But parent involvement is essential. The entire process of admission is ridiculous compared to other states where my son was in G&T. Firstly, because of the idiotic sibling policy they apply to g&T as well (supposed to be based on a test score) a sibling can score on the bottom at 90 and take a seat away from a child who scored a 99 and does not have a sibling in the school – not in G&T – but just in the schoo. Other states also require an interview and evaluation. Kids may be smart, but not necessarily prepared for the program mentally. I can attest, it is not a true G&T program here in NYC.

    30. Citizen says:

      Can someone do the math for me – if 452 cedes to Anderson but a new building is opening, are we even going to have more seats for elementary students in total in the district? Didn’t this all start because of overcrowded conditions!?

      • anon says:

        452 isn’t ceding to Anderson. There has been no mention of what will happen to the 452 space. No mention of expanding Anderson. The “new science lab” that will be shared between Anderson and the Computer School already exists. While next year, if nothing moves in, Anderson might have an easier time scheduling the shared cafeteria, auditorium, and gym, there is no indication that the space would remain empty. In fact, that seems preposterous.

        452 was selected to move because they requested it. The principal and staff want to get out of that building.

        • Michael says:

          More like the principal gave the CEC a string and the CEC sewed a sweater.

          According to the CEC the space vacated by 452 will be given to Anderson and the Computer School in their plan. The DOE has said they would not do anything without having a proper plan in place for the vacated space. With that said the DOE is littered with Anderson people as is the CEC so you can kiss any other ideas goodbye.

          • anon says:

            Michael, I must have missed that the space vacated by 452 would be split between Anderson and Computer School. Is that in the CEC’s proposal letter?
            That would be great news for D3. Good middle school space is in short supply. An expanded Computer School will give the kids in the middle of the current rezoning mess a little more room in a few years.

    31. sean says:

      “Parents in the public school system already feel muted by the bureaucracy in the system. Will this simply make them feel more powerless?”

      answer from one 452 parent: yes but I’m not giving up

    32. charles says:

      I add that none of the schools in the “neighborhood” between W. 60th St. and W.79th
      are vastly far apart, that the area it encompasses would have only 1, maybe 2 elementary schools if it were a suburb, and no parent would complain about the distance they have to travel. And parents happily send their children to G&T programs or Anderson or Hunter without complaining about the distance.
      Clearly there are additional unspoken factors separate from distance.

      • Anon says:

        Charles – I would happily send my child to Hunter despite the distance. The benefits of Hunter have nothing to do with its neighborhood. Ditto with any other gifted and talented program. Whereas being located in my neighborhood is the major (possibly the only) benefit of a zoned aka catchment school. When you take that away, what’s left?

      • Anon says:

        Charles – Here is the problem with your statement:

        I add that none of the schools in the “neighborhood” between W. 60th St. and W.79th

        And parents happily send their children to G&T programs or Anderson or Hunter without complaining about the distance. AND THAT IS WHAT IS CALLED “CHOICE”. PARENTS ARE MAKING THAT CHOICE. 452 PARENTS FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE NO CHOICE RIGHT NOW.


      • Izm says:

        Another accusation of racism? Instead of being coy come out and say and let’s see who you really are!

        This is not the suburbs. Suburbia comes with space and the knowledge you will have a commute. This is an urban city. A child who live on the same block as an existing public school should not have to waste precious learning time on commuting a mile away.

      • Another Westsider says:

        Yes, There is a real concern/worry about a location. A few blocks can make a difference. I would love to see a real report about actual safety at the proposed new location. This is not about racism or classism, this is about the safety of our children.

        • Concerned says:

          Traffic safety is a HUGE concern. The current 452 zone starts at 72nd street and goes up to 77th or 78th to Broadway or Amsterdam. There would be a couple hundred small children having to cross two very dangerous intersections every day (72nd/WEA and 72nd/Broadway) – if the kids were allowed to attend their newly zoned school instead of leap-frogging them, this would not be a concern.

    33. a parent says:

      Joe Fiordaliso is as cynical as it gets.

      Last year a group of parents proposed to pair 199 and 191. Their plan suggested to use one building as a k-2 school and the other one as 3-5 school. This plan would had an intimidate effect on the segregation of 191 and the over crowding at 199. Instead of discussing this plan, Joe claimed that the CEC does not have the authority to propose new plans to the DOE, and that the focus of the rezoning should be handling 199 overcrowding and not the segregation of 191.

      Funny enough, a year later the same Joe Fiordaliso has “a moral obligation for stop segregation”. Yeah, right.

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

        Let’s try not to jump to conclusions that there have been improprieties here. The problem with that plan was not Joe (or anyone on the CEC or at 199). The problem with the plan, though well intentioned was that it was unsustainable. It’s complicated, but I will try to explain.

        The plan largely rested on the idea of having pre-k through 5 spread out over 2 schools. One facility would be the lower (e.g. pre-k to 2) and the other the upper (3 to 5). The third school would have the middle school.

        The problem is that we actually need all 3 facilities to be near or at capacity to satisfy our need for school seats in the southern area our district. That’s why the new facility was created in the first place. This dire need for more seats is only going to get worse once the Riverside Center is completed.

        However, the middle school only has 55 to 60 kids per grade – far less than the number of kids we have in our k-5 grades (199 alone has over 150 kids). The break down would have had required the 5th grade and eventually the 4th grade to be in same school as the middle school. That would have meant that parents with 3 or more pk-5 children could easily be split across 3 schools.

        Let me explain it another way. Look at the chart that the CEC wrote up in their letter to the DOE. They are calling for (at a very minimum) 13 sections of kindergarten classes across 199, 191, and the Amsterdam facility (452). That’s 325 kids per grade (13 x 25). If you have all the kids in such a giant zone traveling together across an upper and a lower school – that soon becomes 975 kids for a k to 2 lower school (even without a pre-k) and another 325 kids for the 3-5 upper.

        The truth is that as the Riverside Center comes online and as people in the zone around the new school start entering the system – there will not even be enough room for the middle school. It’s a little more complicated than that, but I will leave it there. Although I really liked the premise, the math just wasn’t there.

        https://www.westsiderag.com/2016/10/18/school-board-backs-rezoning-plan-that-would-move-ps-452-add-another-building-to-ps-191-zone (see the chart)

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

          What I meant to write above was –

          – that soon becomes 975 kids for a k to 2 lower school (even without a pre-k) and another 975 kids for the 3-5 upper.

          • a parent says:

            Thanks for the Analysis. There are some solutions to that.

            However, I tried to make a different point:
            1. Last year Joe claimed that the CEC cannot propose a zoning plan. This year the same Joe proposed one.
            2. Last year Joe claimed that the zoning process should resolve the overcrowding of PS 199, and not lack of diversity in the schools. This year diversity becomes a “moral obligation”.

            In my mind Joe lost his morale stance the way he led the discussion last year. I would respect his position if he would use some of your arguments. Instead he chose to underline the whole discussion about diversity.

            I am not sure what his agenda is, but based on his behavior last year, it is certainly not desegregation.

          • a parent says:

            One more thought: the middle school grades at 191 will drag down the test score of the whole school (parents will compare apples to bananas). This will lead to a smaller enrolment on k-5 which will underline the entire proccess. It seems that the CEC3 plan ignores that.

            • 22 high rises + 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

              I acknowledge that the middle school is considered an issue for many parents. I don’t think the test score issue is the most relevant one because scores are published by grade level. It is easy to differentiate achievement between grade levels. It is harder to differentiate other demographics (race, socio-economic status, etc.) on the school report cards.

              I hope that families will consider checking out P.S. 191’s fantastic pre-k in the new school like you did. When they do, they will get a sense of how the kindergarten classes are doing first hand. People should also take tours of the new school!

              For better or worse, 191 is going to grow so fast that there isn’t going to be enough room for the school to be pre-k 8 for very long. It’s going to feel pretty tight in there in 4 to 5 years (if not sooner).

              I can’t speak for Joe, but I have also gotten the impression that over the past year a lot of people have changed their thinking within this situation. The DOE certainly has, and I believe for the better.

              This case is the first I know of where the DOE has explicitly stated that they would like to zone with diversity in mind. This is also consistent with an act that was passed just last year by the City Council – the Diversity in Schooling Accountability Act.


      • west67th says:

        How is the CEC led by a lobbyist for rich real estate developers? Can you say more DeBlasio corruption. Can’t wait when the NY Post digs this story up.

        • a parent says:

          As long as greatschools.org will rate ps 191 at 2 / 10 parents are not going to send their kids to this school.
          In addition to the huge challenge in the transition period of the next 5 years (which the CEC plan does not address)
          The middle school will drag the school rating down despite the best efforts of all parties involved.

          • 22 high rises plus 1/3 NYCHA = success says:

            As I wrote above, the best way to check out a school is to enroll in it’s free Pre-k. 191 has an excellent, integrated pre-k for several years. Scores of 199 parents have sent their kids there and loved it (including one of P.S. 199 PTA presidents). I tried to enroll my child in the pre-k there but I did not make the lottery or waiting list.

            Greatschools.com does give a single digit number for each school and not much else. Works great if you want to spend 5 minutes quickly picking a school / area. I admit it is a concern.

            I find it hard to believe that parents would not also be checking out the better site, insideschools.org, which gives an informed explanation of every school’s strengths and weaknesses and a historical overview for each school. As described in the article above, “”Clara Hemphill of school information and review site InsideSchools called it “courageous” and “long overdue.”” Clearly their review in the future will reflect the changes to come.

            I have always found the school report cards to be more informative because you can see how each grade level does each year.

            I am really hoping that UWS parents are more savvy than just looking at websites. I would hope that they would tour a school and talk to school parents on the playground as well.

            • Juan says:

              I would not risk the well-being of my four year old in a school with a long list of violence committed by teenagers who will be sharing the building. I am nervous enough about the possibility of putting my four year old in a school that a) only goes up to fifth grade and b) has no history of violence. If you want to be a pioneer, best of luck to you. I think most rational parents will disagree with you. I think solution #1 to the PS 191 problem might be to make it a pre-k – 5 school.

    34. Anon says:

      There is an underlying problem in all of this. Traditionally and historically (use whatever terms you want), rezoning initiatives impact FUTURE students that will become a part of the public school system.

      This rezoning plan has a direct impact on CURRENT public school students (the PS 452 students). Let’s be real for a moment, you cannot separate the proposed relocation of PS 452 from the district rezoning efforts. At least according to the CEC, they go hand-in-hand.

      I think the PS 452 parents have every reason to be upset, dismayed and angry and, quite frankly, it doesn’t matter what their reasons for not wanting to move are. They are being asked to take on something that no other family in this rezoning battle are being asked to and have ever been asked to in a rezoning (I can’t find any precedent for this).

      Long term, perhaps moving PS 452 will be the right call. Only time will tell.

      But what do you do now? I think, as many other posters have suggested, you give the PS 452 families a choice. Allow them to choose between PS 452 or their newly zoned school. Yes, it may put some stress on those schools, but it will only be a temporary stress on the system (current 452 students will matriculate out in 5 years). If the DOE and CEC have confidence in their plan and the numbers, then this seems like a no-brainer to me.

    35. UWS Parent says:

      My children went to an Upper West Side elementary school that was 95% minority, many children from the nearby projects. Despite the school’s “low” rating, my children somehow managed to get high test scores and a solid education. They never had private tutors, unlike many of their friends in “desirable” public and private schools. They also got into and attended Stuyvesant without taking any test prep courses. They are working professionals who landed jobs that paid well right out of college/grad school. If you are an educated middle-class parent, it will not damage your children to attend classes with children of color. Really.