Parents and students at PS 84 on 92nd Street held signs supporting the school rezoning plan, because it will reduce crowding there.

After months of contentious meetings, the Upper West Side school board passed a plan on Tuesday night to rezone 11 Upper West Side schools, and move three schools into new buildings.

The 9-1 vote will impact Kindergartners entering school in September 2017; any current students can stay at the schools where they’ve already been going and their siblings will still get priority at those schools. Kindergarten enrollment for next year starts on Nov. 30.

Joe Fiordaliso, the president of Community Education Council 3 (the UWS version of a school board), called the vote “historic” because it directly addresses the segregation in the southern end of the school district, where students from the Amsterdam Houses housing project were all funneled into one school. It should also reduce overcrowding at some popular schools, including PS 199 on 70th Street.

“This is the first step to make a wrong right,” added Manuel Casanova, another member of CEC3.

That said, even proponents noted that it doesn’t solve the larger diversity issues in the district. Students from lower-income households remain concentrated in a handful of schools in the northern end of the district. The council rejected a broader plan called “controlled choice” that would have changed the way elementary school admission works to take socioeconomic status into account. The council also tabled a discussion on rezoning schools in West Harlem, which is also part of the district, because they need more time to deliberate.

Here are some of the major changes coming:

Parents from some schools — including PS 191 and PS 84 — were clearly thrilled with the changes. “I’m really excited,” said Hope Dendy, who attended 191 as a child and whose children go there now. “Hopefully the others will see the brighter light.”

Hope Dendy after the vote.

But parents from other schools were upset and angry. PS 452 parents will see the most disruption, because they’re now going to be asked to commute to a school that’s 16 blocks away. The city has vowed to provide them with a school bus that will probably pick kids up and drop them off at one designated spot each day. If those parents don’t want to move to the new school, they can apply to other nearby schools like PS 87 on 78th Street, but there’s no guarantee they’ll get in.

Asking parents to move to a school 16 blocks away is “not right,” said Noah Gotbaum, the lone CEC3 member to vote against the plan. “Parents have no choice here.”

And there could be cascading effects if PS 452 parents balk at moving. Parents at PS 87 fear that they’re about to get an influx of new students from 452 packing their classrooms. “If this is an overcrowding nightmare, that’s on you,” said one of the school’s PTA presidents to the council. Council member Dan Katz said that based on the numbers he’s seen, he doesn’t expect PS 87 to become overcrowded. But parents said his math was off.

Parents from buildings in the Lincoln Tower complex like 165 and 185 West End Avenue who will now be zoned for PS 191 were also livid. Lincoln Towers parents have sent their children to 199 since the complex was built in the 1960’s, and say splitting up the complex betrays that legacy. Gary Ramsey, a Lincoln Towers parent, said the council should prepare for a lawsuit and called the plan “sportscoat liberalism.”

An anonymous group of parents, some of them from PS 452, have also raised the threat of a legal challenge, demanding that the council release emails and other documents related to its decision. Fiordaliso said that the council plans to provide any documents in accordance with the open records law.

A map of the changes is below (click to enlarge).


NEWS, SCHOOLS | 140 comments | permalink
    1. Siddhartha says:

      Glad to see this. It will be a net positive for the community and the neighborhood.

      • Drew says:

        Agreed. I think PS 84 also comes out a big winner in the rezoning. It should fuel to continued improvement an a fast rising school

        • Anon says:

          I hope so! 84 is our zoned school. We opted for G&T, everyone else in our building did the same, or private or moved. I would love to see that school become successful.

      • Zulu says:

        Not for PS 87. Overcrowded once again as it used to be before PS 452.

      • SteveD says:

        Siddhartha: So you’re admitting that many people will end up on the short end of the stick.

    2. MAS says:

      Does anyone know what it means if you live on a black line? Does the border run in the middle so that the north side is in a separate district from south?

    3. Anonymous says:

      One correction. According to the letter sent by Chancellor Farina a few weeks ago, students and their siblings have the “right” to attend the schools the older sibling is currently attending.

      • Carlos says:

        I am assuming that siblings who were shifted out of a zone retain in zone preference – I thought/hope I read this somewhere in the past. And I hope this was factored into their enrollment models.

        The related question is: if, for example, your child was in second grade at 452 and you have a child entering K next year who is now zoned to 87, does the older child get in-zone sibling preference at 87 based on the younger sibling? I’m guessing the answer is no. Secondarily, in two years will the older sibling be considered an in-zone sibling once the younger sibling is actually attending 87?

        • Anonymous says:

          The way i read Chancellor Farina’s letter is that the younger sibling(s) follow the older sibling. Thus, the younger siblings, while zoned for 87 (if that is the case), will, according to the letter, be able to follow the older sibling to 342. However, the older sibling does not necessarily have the choice of following the younger sibling(s) to 87. Chancellor Farina and/or the DOE will need to clarify this.

    4. BAD PLAN says:

      After almost a year of hearing the community’s concerns against this plan, the DOE and the CEC ignored them and passed this horrible plan. As a PS452 parent, and speaking to fellow PS 452 parents, the vast majority of the affected families will not move with the school. All families will now look to be admitted to their newly zoned schools of PS 87 or PS 199. Overcrowding at those two schools will be worse than ev

      • Eric says:

        “After almost a year of hearing the community’s concerns against this plan, the DOE and the CEC ignored them”

        As I have no school-age children and have no direct stake in the plan I will refrain from weighing in on its particulars.

        BUT, just because you were not agreed with and did not get your way DOES NOT mean you were ignored. It seems that a lot of people have the idea that community hearings means community control. We still have a Dept. of Education in this city and while it is their job to listen it is also their job to decide.

        From listening to this near-endless debate (albeit from the sidelines) and attending several meetings it seems that all sides were heard from PLENTY. If you think that raising a concern is the same as automatically getting your say-so then you just don’t accept how representative government works.

        • Anon says:

          Above written by Helen Rosenthal I’m sure with her kids safely tucked away at private school.

        • Anon says:

          Being on the sidelines in rezoning with no kids to worry about is like telling a parent how they should raise their kid when you don’t have any.

          Keep it to yourself because you don’t know what you’re talking about.

          • Eric says:

            “Keep it to yourself”

            Just as you don’t own the rezoning process, you don’t own this forum. Be polite.

          • Anon2 says:

            People who don’t have kids impacted by these changes have a right to voice their opinions. The quality of public schools is felt be everyone. We all want every child to receive a decent education. Splitting Amsterdam Houses among 3 schools will mean more children will be in betters schools. It is well known that a family’s socio-economic status is correlated to how well kids do in elementary school. It has also been shown that a few underprivileged kids in a class of UMC kids helps them without hurting their UMC classmates. We understand that you will fight for what is best for your child, just like Hope Dendy from 191 will fight for what is best for hers. Those without children directly impacted have an easier time seeing the bigger picture. They can and should voice their opinions.

            • Anonymous says:

              Those studies are based on parent”s choosing to go to the school. Parent choice. You may want to read them instead of just requoting people. And not based on starting with a school that has 7% math and 22% english passing rates. It won’t affect the high performing school at 199. But there are no studies that say moving people to a failing school (15 years of failure) will fix it.

            • Anon2 says:

              Many of the parents in 191 would choose a different school if the could. There hasn’t historically been enough room in schools they would choose.

              The failing scores at 191 are with a large percentage of kids who qualify for free lunch. While that will still be the case in 1-8 next year the K class will either have a high percentage of UMC kids, or they’ll all opt to go elsewhere and the small class size will benefit the kids who do go. At the same time 1/3 of the kids who would have good news to 191 k will go to 199 and another 1/3 to 452. Overall this plan helps kids.

        • dannyboy says:

          “It seems that a lot of people have the idea that community hearings means community control… If you think that raising a concern is the same as automatically getting your say-so then you just don’t accept how representative government works.” – Eric

          Are you kidding with this? The community was co=opted by a CEC with its own agenda. Where are you living? People had NO say. You think this is right?

          • Why bother says:

            You are correct. No say whatsoever. Totally co-opted. Going to the meetings and speaking may as well have been a weekly Toastmasters meeting where you practice speaking for the heck of it.

      • Another 452 parent says:

        @ Bad plan, we are planning/hoping/praying for a spot at 87.

        • Anon says:

          You and everybody else!

        • 452r says:

          I feel as though families like yours trying to shoehorn into 87 are cutting off your nose to spite your own face.

          I get that many are angry at 452’s leadership and feel ignored – so to spite them, you will leave the community that you helped build and contribute towards.

          You would rather have your child in a school (87) where there are many more class sections per grade and several more children per class. with a less unified teaching staff. The educators at 452 have a really strong sense of your child’s learning needs as they move from teacher to teacher / grade per grade. In the 6 years that my family has been there, the only teachers that have left were due to maternity leave. That’s insanely impressive – look up teacher turnover statistics.

          Perhaps its because I have a child on their way out of 452 and a younger sibling in the school – I have more visibility and see what the school has done for both my children. I’ve gotten so much attention from the teaching staff when my children had specific issues that they needed to work on – emailed responses within 24 hours, meetings and calls within 2-3 days. You will lose that with a larger over-crowded school.

          I dare you to find another public elementary school that takes 30 minute individual meetings with families to council them on their middle school choice. Ask any 5th grade family this year and former 452 family about those meetings.

          Please think really hard if leaving this school is the right choice for you.

          • Anon says:

            Middle school placement stats at 87 are impressive. Look at the presentation on their website. Meanwhile, I know several 452 parents who were unhappy with their middle school placement last year. The problem, according to my friend – sub-par academics. I personally prioritize strong academics over a half hour meeting.

            • anon says:

              If the school has “sub-par academics” as your friend suggests, then why were the parents trying so hard (suing?) to maintain the status quo and prevent it from relocating? I could be wrong, but I suspect 452r really hit the nail on the head, and clearly he/she speaks from first-hand experience. It seems obvious from certain comments on this and other WSR posts that there are a number of 452 parents who are rooting for the re-sited school to fail, encouraging current parents to flee and predicting that the school will “crumble.” I understand these parents are angry, and they certainly have a right to be angry, but that is just sad and childish behavior.

          • A 452 parent says:

            I don’t see anyone “rooting” for the school to fail. I do see how the families promoting 452 as some kind of unparelled educational experience lose credibility. I also have a child at another school and feel qualified to comment that I agree 452 is somewhat lacking in rigor, especially in the older grades. There have been benefits due to the small size of the school (half-hour middle school meetings are possible with 40 fifth graders vs the 150 or so at PS 87). Of course the school will be getting much larger now so I would be careful of promoting this aspect to future parents.

            Bottom line is that 452 has been a decent, safe option for kids who live in the west 70’s and don’t test into G&T. Now it will be an option for those in the west 60’s. It is completely understandable if current parents prefer a school in their neighborhood.

            • Carlos says:

              Prior to these changes, I think the rule of thumb was that other than Hunter and Anderson, if you were zoned for 199, 452, 87 or 9 you wouldn’t choose G&T over zoned. I’m not sure how things will shake out for the new districting.

    5. Drew says:

      Overall, I think this is making the best of a tough situation.
      PS 84 looks to be the biggest net winner in the equation. The school was rising fast in terms of school quality, rankings, desirability. This should fuel continued growth of the school.

      • Anon4 says:

        Which is why they were planted into yesterday’s meeting and allowed with signs. In previous meetings, the CEC stance was no signs were allowed – funny how rules get changed when it supports your agenda.

        • Anon says:

          I don’t think there was one person who didn’t notice how the rules changed to fit the CEC’s agenda. Did you notice no one was made to stop talking after their 2 minutes if they were from 84?

    6. Anon2 says:

      No one on the CEC is personally impacted, but most of them get on their soapbox to make the decision.

      They know the data is wrong, they know the community does not support this. But they go ahead anyway.

      If they were just entering their children into Kindergarten and were personally impacted, they would not be in support and they would be as vocal as the community.

      If this was done properly with correct data and community support, it would be more likely to succeed.

      • Anon says:

        They are a false representation.

        • about to be former 452 parent says:

          The CEC members, with the exception of Noah, acted only to protect the interests of their children’s schools. Look at how PS 199, Anderson and 166 fared in this re-zoning – clearly the winners. Gee, wonder why?

      • Confused says:

        you meant that the process would have been more fair if the board would have acted selfishly? And it sucks that their selfish interests did not align with your selfish interest?

        Ironically, I think you are inadvertently making the opposite point you want to make.

        • anon says:

          First Joe F fought to get his kid into 199 saying it was outrageous that his child couldn’t go to the school across the street. Now it’s in his interest to make 199 his own exclusive country club so he fought for that instead. The CEC doesn’t represent anyone but themselves.

        • Anon2 says:

          They claim failing schools are successes. They claim distance is not a too large of a concern. They say they know what’s best for the community, and need to speak for the community at large.

          However, m When his kids were just entering sultiple CEC members don’t send their kids to their zoned school, but jumped into G&T as soon as they can.chool, Joe argued to go to PS199 that he could see from his apartment but now doesn’t buy that same reasoning from other families.

          Kim admitted last night that everyone wants what’s best for your own kids, though wanted people to think about the larger district. Why not transfer their own kids to schools at a distance who are “successes,” underenrolled, and more diverse?

        • Zulu says:

          This was not a vote like Noah Gotbaum mentioned last night. The moment the CEC3 presented the last rezoning plan to the DOE(without any input from the community) the decision was clearly made for the rest of us.

          Last night was a dog and pony show.

        • dannyboy says:

          “you meant that the process would have been more fair if the board would have acted selfishly?”

          You really are confused!

          The CEC ONLY acted out of selfish motives. What is so hard to see?

    7. Brian says:

      This may be an ignorant question but do the lines on each street get separated by north and south end of the block? For instance, does 72nd get the top half at one school and the south side to another?

    8. Angela says:

      Not sure how to read the map. It looks as if PS 199 were at 69 st whereas it is located at 70th street. Where does it leave 2025 Broadway (Nevada Towers)?

      • Celie says:

        2025 Broadway is in new the 452 Zone. The dot for PS199 should be slightly higher – between 69th and 70th as it runs between those streets.

      • Steve says:

        I don’t know what’s true but was told that the reason the line for PS 199 zigzags at 70th St west of 199 to keep one building – 205 WEA – in the 199 zone while punishing 165 and 185 WEA. Right or wrong for the kids, it looks like someone is playing with the zoning lines to reward and punish his/her perceived opponents. The CEC is about as representative of district 3 as Trump is of America. Neither has majority support!

    9. Anon says:

      The G&T addition into 191 at the 3rd grade level is not an enticement. It’s an underminded plan by the DOE to show test improvement at the 4th grade level. It’s a statistical lie to show false success.

      • Played for a fool says:

        Exactly. 4th grade test scores are what get reported. So get a bunch of G&T kids in the 3rd grade to bump up the scores and make it look like the school is doing better.

        No one is fooled.

      • UWS Mom says:

        Agreed. We might have considered a new G&T program at PS 191 that started in K (like every other G&T program in this city). But having it start in 3rd grade and open to kids from other schools in the district gives me absolutely no incentive to consider it now.

        • Anon says:

          Agree. Believe me there are no incentives being offered. And last night Helen said the new 452 is keeping the multi million dollar technology room – it’s not moving to the new 191. And so it begins…

          Do not trust Helen (for anyone who inadvertently was still doing so).

      • Sherman says:

        I wonder what is going to happen when the G&T kids at PS199 academically supersede the kids already there.

        Will there be cries of “racism” and “discrimination” because the kids already there are so far behind the new arrivals?

    10. Nathan says:

      Honest question: Why should anyone care that a Lincoln Towers is split between districts. How is them being part of one larger development even relevant?

      • Lincoln Towers Together says:

        It’s very relevant. LT is one community that has shared resources and shared space. LT has served 199 for 60 years and the school was built for Lincoln Towers. The DOE just split friends and kids that have grown up together. They have fractured friendships and neighborly support for working families – people can’t get that kind of community anywhere else in the city. LT is a strong, vibrant community that contributes security and resources to the neighborhood. Why would you want to take a good thing and ruin it?

        • Anon says:

          …”Why would you want to take a good thing and ruin it?” I would also ask that of the CEC members hellbent on moving PS 452.

          • Anon says:


            Lincoln Towers folks have always felt supportive of 452’s plight. Breaking up Lincoln Towers and moving 452 both make no sense.

      • Juan says:

        I agree, yet the Lincoln Towers residents felt very strongly about this. I live in another part of the UWS and my child has good friends in the neighboring buildings yet I never considered that all of these buildings should be considered as one in terms of zoning and all of these buildings have also been zoned for the same school for ages.

        • Anon says:

          Of course you didn’t because they aren’t one community together for 60 years.

          You don’t have any idea until you’ve lived in Lincoln Towers.

          • Juan says:

            Based on the entitled attitude of the Lincoln Towers residents throughout this process, I am really glad I don’t live there. I understand fighting for what is best for your child, but I don’t think there is any reason it should be considered one community. By this logic, Amsterdam Houses should also be considered one community and not split up. So would all of the residents of Lincoln Towers be OK with a school solely made up with residents of Lincoln Towers and all of the Amsterdam Houses?

            • Things that make you hmmm. says:

              I didn’t find them entitled. Why should they have to go when so many luxury towers were being put in their zone and they live across the street from the school.

              The CEC acts entitled. And Helen Rosenthal with her kids at Brearley telling everyone else what’s right. That’s entitled.

            • dannyboy says:


              This breaks up a community. Do you see that?

            • Juan says:


              Amsterdam Houses is also a community and it is being broken up, but no one, particularly not the residents of Lincoln Towers who are so concerned about “community” are concerned about that. They need to practice what they preach.

            • Anon says:

              They would have had no problem with a school made up of kids from Lincoln Towers and Amsterdam Houses. For the most part, that’s what 199 is going to be.

            • dannyboy says:

              But Juan, they did practice. They petitioned the CEC and got no hearing.

              Are you suggesting that they needed to petition for the Amsterdam Houses?

            • Not true says:

              Amsterdam Houses didn’t object to being broken up. And actually Lincoln Towers residents did stand up for the few Amsterdam House residents who came to the meeting and voiced their concerns.

            • UWS Mom says:

              You make it sound like Lincoln Towers residents wanted to break up Amsterdam Houses. Lincoln Towers residents were fighting to keep their own community unified, but it’s not their business to fight to keep another community unified (although I’m sure they would have been supportive).

            • Anon says:

              Having been there, I will also note that when Lincoln Towers residents asked their electeds to reach out to Amsterdam Houses to find out what theire interests were in regards to being broken up, most of the electeds said they were trying to find out but that Amsterdam Houses didn’t have a unified voice on the matter.

              Lincoln Towers could not presume they understood what the Amsterdam Houses wanted and just begin fighting on their behalf. Lincoln Towers never once suggested that Amsterdam Houses should be broken up…actually you should take your complaint to the DOE where the idea came from.

            • Sara says:

              I am a Lincoln towers resident and mother who will be affected by this rezoning—and yes, I would be 100% ol with Lincoln towers being kept together, Amsterdam Houses being kept together, and both being kept together in one school. I do hope people have beer asking residents of Amsterdam Houses what they want and not deciding what is best for them.

            • Juan says:

              Ok. Another example. I live in the ps9 zone, which for many years has been roughly 80-85 streets. River Run playground is in the middle of this zone and I could routinely take my kids there and count on bumping into their classmates. Shopping at the stores in the zone we would always bump into fellow parents. A large part of this zone just got shifted to 166. Yet though not thrilled about it, I did not hear ps9 parents and future parents argue that a community was being broken up. But I would argue that this is just as much of a community as Lincoln Towers is (plus the buildings are generally less of an eyesore).

            • Anon says:


              It’s not about bumping into people. It’s a community like family you rely on for every day support and vice versa.

              But seriously if you keep bumping into people like that maybe you should be more careful how you walk. Or get a smaller stroller or something? Keeping your arms by your side is super helpful.

            • Sara says:

              Juan, you are not describing the same type of community as Lincoln Towers. Lincoln Towers has a shared community association, common areas etc.

              Lincoln Towers is not claiming association with surrounding buildings that share Engine Playground and surrounding supermarkets for example. What you are describing is a neighborhood, not a shared community or complex.

              You are right that from the outside Lincoln Towers are a bit of an eyesore. They were built as part of an urban renowal program, actually using the same finances as were used for PS199, which was built at the exact same time to accommodate this population. I’ve always thought their “eyesore look” was part of the charm. It takes a certain type of down-to-earth person to chose an apartment that might now be brand new and “trendy” on the outside but very practical on the inside that’s not necessarily so easy to find in NYC. Likely part of the reason residents are fighting so hard to keep their unique community WITHIN a community intact.

      • Jasper says:

        My guess is that the kids friends from school are also in the complex giving them easy access to their buddies and a greater sense of community.

        • Juan says:

          My kids have friends across the street who are now zoned for a different school but I am not complaining about that. And I don’t think the families in Lincoln Towers who didn’t get shifted are complaining about other buildings getting shifted out – they are just glad they were saved!

          • Anon says:

            Lincoln Towers is most definitely a community. It is home to Project Open which is a program for the elderly across all buildings. Everyone – even the kids – get involved.

            They share common space and the Lincoln Towers Community Association (LTCA) is a cooperation among all buildings. The kids all play together in the playground and parents help each other out.

            2700 residents of Lincoln Towers signed the petition to keep their neighbors in the 199 zone. And wrote letters.

            But yes when you pit people against each other and it’s about your child, then people will act for yourself. And some did do that. So if the DOE and Helen are proud of fracturing a community then congratulations to them.

      • Anon says:

        Maybe because we are your neighbors and because you may not understand how much we as residents rely on and care about each other. Now you split three kids off from all the others for no gain whatsoever.

    11. Oh well says:

      What’s so interesting is that not one of the many, many families I have talked to who are in the 191 zone are discussing going to the school even as their last resort. It’s not even on the list of anyone’s options. I have not heard one person say, ‘oh a new building’ or ‘wow I really believe that it’s no longer dangerous.’

      Parents are putting themselves in the lottery for 4 or 5 Success Academy locations, but if they don’t get that – they are moving – some to suburbs, most to the 87 or 9 zone, some to the East side, some going to the new private school uptown. Many have already moved, seeing the writing on the wall. I bet a lot of brokers are busy today.

      Helen has said I hope people put as much energy into the new school as they did to fighting the plan. However, people are putting their energy into gathering their resources to go elsewhere. You can try to force people but you can’t make them bend to your will.

      • UWS Mom says:

        All the families being rezoned to 191 who don’t want to move are looking into Success Academies now. With all the interest from this neighborhood and given that 191 will be under-enrolled, soon Eva Moskowitz will be knocking on the DOE’s door with demands to open Success Academy Riverside Center.

        • Soon to be former 452 parent says:

          Two 452 families left this year for Success Academy and I know several more putting in applications! Disclosure, we are seriously considering it as well. Their test scores blow 452 away, and I know many happy families.

        • Anon says:

          That’s actually why Helen was in such a rush to pass this rezoning. De-segregation was an afterthought and a way to make people look bad for disagreeing with aspects of the plan that don’t make sense. They were about to lose 191 to a charter school. That was the real motivation.

          • Anon says:

            Now THAT actually makes sense.

            • Got it! says:

              Perfect sense. Instead of admitting that they were unable to provide a decent education for kids at 191 – they split the kids and spread the scores across 3 schools. Then a charter school can’t takeover. When actually many charter schools could do a better job.

            • Steve says:

              Yes there is actually a document you can find online from 2014 (when this rezoning process started) that is. letter from Helen speaking against a charter in the lower section of district 3 (likely ps191) and an article dated a few months later by the Columbia spectator that success academy had been approved for this area. Im not a charter supporter and wonder whether charters do well by weeding out students that dont test well, but the rush to rezonr in spite of faulty and incomplete data definitely had to do with the threat of a charter. This was stated several times publically at meetings.

    12. When? says:

      Hi, I am a PS 452 parent interested in transferring to PS 87. Does anyone know the timing – are the new zones good to go as of today? Or not until K connect opens?

      • UWSmom says:

        Not sure of the timing, but there are very few spaces across the grades at 87 and they have been assured in writing they will have their classes capped. In other words – you can apply, will likely be waitlisted, and then if it doesn’t clear, given an alternate assignment (which will be new 452 building). DOE has every reason to enforce caps at 87 – to force people to follow the school and make it successful.

        • UWSmom says:

          By “follow the school,” I meant follow 452 to its new location.

          • Soon to be former 452 parent says:

            I saw a document put out by the DOE that showed 117 available seats at 87, across the grades. Expect all of them to be taken.

            • 87mom says:

              That number is untrue. PS 87 is at capacity, if not slightly over. They began the year at 914 and capacity is 904.

    13. Anon says:

      Kim slipped in a meeting and said we will try to “convince” parents to go to 191. Then she said “oops” “I mean show them why they want to go.” Anyone who has been part of this zoning process knows full well they aren’t signing up for 6 years of banging their head against the wall with the DOE to fix a failing school. Dealing with Helen, Ilene Altshul and the DOE is the worst experience imaginable.

      • Steve says:

        Marisa also “slipped” and said “the intention was always to split Lincoln Towers.” But Helen did not slip when she later stated “bring on all 9,000 votes against me.” Rumor has it, she didn’t think enough votes from that community.

        What do you do when your local councilwoman intentionally works and tries to manipulate her constituents?

    14. gs says:

      can anyone help me shed some light on 255 west 84th – the alameda builidng? it is currently zoned for ps9. the building is on the nw corner of the street. im having a hard time reading the line. much appreciated.

      • Sadie says:

        I am guessing 166 as it is on the line. Though I thought everyone in that building went to private…

    15. Sandy says:

      More school buses mean more pollution.

    16. Leon says:

      If I owned a rental building in the 199, 87 or 9 zone I would be bumping my rents today as there is going to be a lot of demand…

    17. Zulu says:

      The entire meeting last night was a self congratulatory event where each CEC3 member fluffed each other’s egos to the point of inducing nausea. It wasn’t until Noah Gotbaum spoke clearly and without reservation about the ill conceived plan and how the CEC3 never did their homework in considering the effects on thousands of families.

      Most members of the CEC3 kept asking us parents to “vote” with our money in our respective PTAs which is fine and most of use parents already do. But not a single CEC3 member could explain how our money would alleviate safety issues for PS87 and it’s imminent overcrowding condition once parents from PS 452 will flock over to the school across the street.

      • UWSmom says:

        As I wrote above, PS 87 has demanded and received a written guarantee that their classes (both children in the school and classes per grade) would be capped (25 in K, 32 in 1st – 5th, no more than 7 classes in any one grade). They are already at or very near these numbers in almost all grades. If the DOE want people to go to 452’s new location, they are likely to honor those commitments. Wait lists at 87 will be long and will not clear, and people will receive assignment at 452 anyway.

        • Soon to be former 452 parent says:

          @ UWS mom, there is more room at 87 than you think. I attended a meeting where a CEC member said that 70% of 452 kids would be able to move to their newly-zoned school without breaking any caps (speaking primarily of 87/199 – presumably the numerous out of zone families at 452 wouldn’t want to return to their zoned school anyway).

          • UWSmom says:

            K classes at 87 this year are already at 25. There are sometimes some spaces as those classes move to first and class size goes up to 32, allowing for to 7 more kids per class. Current 1st grades are at 27-28. Also keep in mind there is one dual language class per grade, and they don’t allow attrition to those classes beyond 1st or 2nd even if there is space. I just wouldn’t be banking on 87 as a solution as DOE has every reason to honor caps if they want to force attendance at other schools. The written DOE cap commitment to 87 just went out to them on Monday.

          • Zulu says:

            Some grades are already having lunch at 10:30 am with approximately 900 students in the building. Gym time is extremely limited and fire drills are taking too long.

            Just because you can shoe horn more kids in the building does it mean it should be done. I’d also be weary of taking the CEC’s word for gospel. As suspected by most and confirmed by one of their own during yesterday’s meeting, the CEC has been operating without a complete understanding of the inconsistent data provided by DOE. Don’t let the CEC dupe you.

            • 87mom says:

              No one at 87 eats at 10:30 – the earliest lunch is at 11am and the latest is at 1:30. I would agree to being skeptical of the DOE, EXCEPT that they have motivation to enforce caps at 199 and 87 if they want to fill both 452 and new 191. 32 children is too many children anyway (especially in 1st grade!), but this is public school.

            • Zulu says:

              Kindergarteners have lunch at 10:45. Maybe not 10:30 but still too early.

            • Random DaniBoi Comment Generator says:

              THAT’S a Comment worth repeating!

    18. Scott says:

      “Gifted and talented” schools/classes should be abolished for any child younger than 14. AP classes for brilliant high school kids are one thing but these are something altogether different. They are a shameful tool for white parents to shield their kids from diversity. I bet a lot of these parents campaigned against Trump too, making them hypocrites too.

      • Stuart says:

        How cynical! You mean you don’t think that a 4 year old can be gifted by God, expressing so much specialness that he/she needs to be sheltered into a special class on his/her own with other gifted kids? And it is not just gifted that they have to be; they have to be talented to. You can’t just be gifted, you know. Your god given gift has to have expressed itself into some talent, all of which can be assessed by a little test your 4 year old tyke takes with his/her pencil and which, ironically, you can prep your kid for if you have an extra $1500 to invest in your gifted and talented tyke. How dare you suggest that this is just a way white liberals get around having to deal with the impact of their gracious and lofty values!!

      • David says:

        “Gifted and talented” classes are the salvation of our society! They provide an opportunity for those youngsters who have demonstrated the ability to perform at a level that is markedly above average. We need MORE of such classes, starting in the primary grades, so that these special children can be given the opportunity to put their talents to work, and become the “stars” that their abilities predict they will be!

    19. NE says:

      I guess this is one way to “fix” the danger that took place in PS191. What a system.

    20. D3 - The Mighty Ducks says:

      Wait so 16 blocks is too far to take your kid to school? I have kid entering K in D5 next year and walk her 20 blocks to preK every day, along with her 1 year old brother who is even more of a hassle to get to daycare.

      I mean I guess you don’t get what you want but D3 parents, have some perspective. I’d love for the opportunity to have the choices you have rather than choosing in the lowest performing district in the city. It seems to me this plan wasn’t aggressive enough in diversifying enrollments as you still have the upper schools basically untouched and the West Harlem schools not even discussed!

      • Luis says:

        If you don’t like the schools where you live and education is important to you, move! It is a free country, and contrary to popular belief, there are pockets of affordable housing even in the seemingly most expensive zones.

    21. David says:

      All of this tumult, setting off one group against another, and WHY??? To promote greater “diversity,” parents are being asked to uproot their children from familiar surroundings and, in many cases, to have to transport them up to 16 blocks away! This is sheer madness, that makes no sense at all! But, we must remember that this is, after all, the Upper West Side, where liberal beliefs and plans take precedence over what is in people’s best interests, or what might be more beneficial for the children involved! If people are so hell bent on improving educational opportunities for their children, let them work at making their schools more academically superior, and working with their children to excel in their schools. Playing the old “pea under the shell” game serves no useful purpose whatever, and will only create a lot of angst on the part of opposing groups!

    22. Christine E says:

      Basic logic did not prevail here. Children have been rezoned away from schools that are literally across the street from their homes. And sent to the 2nd or 3rd nearest school. Which in many cases are lower-performing schools. We in the boondocks aka the 80s and up have not heard anything convincing from the CEC or the DOE regarding how they plan to help the underperforrming schools catch up so that people won’t actually mind passing 2 good schools on their way to their newly zoned bad one.

    23. Another West sider says:

      It seems that many will benefit from this new plan except for PS452 families and PS87 who is sure to be crowded again in years to come. The most inconvenienced and damaged group remains the current PS452 families. While busing is important and necessary, there needs to be a lot more on the table for parents to stay with the school. They are adding programming and dual language programs etc for other schools in this scenario, I hope there is a library or science room (or something new to be excited about) in the cards for their kids. What a horrible process this was and unfortunately, for PS452 families, it’s not over.

      • anon says:

        It’s 5 years max of walking 16 blocks. Such a shonda!

      • Anon2 says:

        What the 452 families get is their own building with no negotiating with other schools about lunch time, gym times, auditorium use, and what time the school day starts and stops. They get kindergarten classes with kindergarten sized bathroom fixtures. This is what their principal asked for. The school is moving because he asked to move to the 191 building.

    24. Anon3 says:

      Our kids are now out of grammar school in the district. My experience is that it is just grammar school and there is no sense in obsessing over it. There is nothing more inane than having your child spend six important years learning the alphabet a little faster in an all-white classroom; a waste of time and effort. We ended up sending our kids to a dual-language program so they wouldn’t be quite so bored and so that there would be some diversity.

      There are no failing and dangerous “schools.” The buildings don’t matter. The teachers tend to be good. We saw great teachers move from popular schools to failing schools because they felt they were wasting their talents and lives in all-white classrooms. What makes a school failing or dangerous is when 0% of the students and families have the resources to contribute. Once there is a core of engaged families and students, then the school catches up. At least that’s what we saw.

      The children of educated, affluent families are going to get into their Ivy League schools no matter what grammar school they go to. Unfortunately, a lot depends on that crazy 4th-grade test, at least it did for us. I don’t think grammar school affects the test scores much, though. It was really about reading at home.

      • josh says:

        I agree 100%. People put so much stock in these lower grades, while studies show continuously that the most important educational factor for children of that age is the learning they do it home. Reading and homework with parents throughout the year is crucial. Teachers can make a difference, for sure, but if education is ignored at home — as it is in many lower income/single parent families — the hurdle of educational (and life) success is slim.

        • Zulu says:

          PS 87 is destined to become overcrowded and unsafe once again. That’s the biggest concern for PS 87 parents.

    25. Dana says:

      I wish they would stop saying that the old 191 kids are getting split between 3 schools. There is one block being sent to 199. The rest is split between 191 and 452. And how are the parents in these 2 schools supposed to feel about the ‘persistently dangerous’ label 191 had? Is splitting up the school into 2 new schools going to make it any less dangerous? I don’t think so.

      • Anon says:

        Nobody thinks so and that’s why no one is going.

      • angeline says:

        The Amsterdam Houses are:
        1) 10 6-story buildings
        2) 3 13-story buildings (all fronting Amsterdam, I think)

        and the Amsterdam Annex is:
        a 27-story building

        P.S. 199’s zone has always included the Annex, and many arguments were made in the beginning (5+ years ago) to keep the Annex in the zone. This (I think) largely accounts for the fact that the zone has evolved from shaving off buildings to the east and west of this block.

        With the help of Google maps and this book (https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1317312422), it looks like the one block now assigned to PS 199 (between Amsterdam and West End and W63 an W 64)

        1) 1 Amsterdam Houses 13-story building (these 13-story buildings do not have the same footprint as the 6-story buildings, thus each may contain more than 2x the apts in the 6-story buildings).

        2) 1 Amsterdam Houses 6-story building (these are not uniform either and this looks to be the biggest 6-story building based on google maps and the book).

        It is possible that the apartment count/head count of these 2 buildings and the Annex (27 story) is about equal to the buildings to be split between 452 and 191.
        Also note that Beacon and (Gateway) are on the same side of 61st as the Amsterdam Houses, that is the little zig you see in the map across the street from the existing PS191 building.

        As best as I can see, 2 13-story buildings and 2 6-story buildings are to be assigned to PS452 (note that the 6-story buildings are not equal in size to each other) and the remaining 7 6-story buildings to PS191.

        For completeness’ sake, the remainder of the block includes:

        1) Phipps Houses – originally built as low-income housing, but sold, now market rental. I read somewhere that these were being used as student dorms?

        2) West End avenue facing loft-style office building.

        Happy Thanksgiving!

    26. NYC Teacher says:

      Ultimately, I don’t think this plan goes far enough to end the apartheid of D3 schools, but it’s a baby step that I hope will lead to greater systemic change. I understand that change is threatening for people who are well-served by the current system, but they’ll survive.

      We still have so far to go in fighting racial and economic inequality. Even here on my beloved UWS, so many people put their own perceived self-interest above community and social justice. I wonder why the election didn’t go my way, when the answers are right in my backyard.

      • Anon says:

        Actually not one person complained about children coming from Amsterdam Houses to 199. Or the building move to Riverside Center. People still want to go to 199 with the proposed ratio changes. No one wants to go to a crappy school with one principal for an entire K-8 in a school that has a multitude of problems. You need specialized principals for K-5 and 6-8.

        No one trusts the DOE to do anything to fix 191 after they force people there. And with good reason. The only reason this rezoning happened is because the DOE was afraid of losing 191 to a charter school.

        And since the DOE doesn’t provide much to the schools anyway – they rely on the the PTA to pay for everything (exactly why there is such a large differential in school quality) – parents want a school where the PTA has the potential to raise money. In the case of 191 it will be a small group of parents for 9 grades = no services or enrichment.

      • 452r says:

        AMEN – very well said. This is what made me sick about all the shenanigans of the “Donotmove 452” folks.

    27. UWSmom says:

      I have a child entering K next year. We were zoned for 452 and now for 199. I’m actually a little sad. I’ve heard such good things about 452.

    28. JerryV says:

      The new map looks like a “gerrymandering” project that looks like one that right-wing Republican States would be proud to draw. The new district for 199 looks like a handgun!

    29. JerryV says:

      I have lived in NYC for 82 years and am the middle of 5 generations that have gone to well-integrated public schools. A few things I have learned are: 1) NYC is a Real Estate town. 2) Follow the money. 3) NYC politicians get campaign contributions from Real Estate Typhoons* (*= a blowhard tycoon). 4) To entice them, the prospective tenants for the ultra-luxury new high rise going up on Amsterdam and 69th will be told by Realtors that their new building is being zoned for 199. 5) Again, follow the money and tell us how much in campaign contributions does Helen Rosenthal get from Real Estate Typhoons?

      • Anon says:

        Sorry to poke holes in your conspiracy theories but that new tower is not zoned for 199. Not that any of its inhabitants will attend public schools anyway.

      • uws j says:

        @JerryV – Unless I’m missing something, the new zoning map has that new building (former Lincoln Sq Synagogue site) going to 452.

      • dannyboy says:

        I do appreciate your insights. By now, I have gotten sick and tired of all the shenanigans.