Schools Chancellor’s Racially Charged Tweet Could Derail Progress on Parent-Led School Diversity Plan

A tweet from the new schools chancellor made waves on the Upper West Side.

Early last Friday, new New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza sent out a tweet that said “WATCH: Wealthy white Manhattan parents angrily rant against plan to bring more black kids to their schools” and linked to a video of parents raising concerns about a new plan to change middle school admissions.

The inflammatory tweet accuses the parents at the meeting of being racists. And it quickly went viral, racking up thousands of retweets and adding to a piling-on against the parents. Websites from across the political spectrum, from the far-right to the far-left and various ideologies in between made similar accusations. “Occupy Democrats”, a site with 7.3 million followers, urged its followers to “spread their shame” referring to the parents. Carranza’s tweet was of an article from a site called Raw Story, which embedded the video below from Spectrum News NY1 from a meeting at PS 199 on 70th street last week about the plan.

“The inflammatory coverage of the CEC 3 meeting completely misrepresents the range and complexity of issues raised by our community,” a PS 199 parent told us. “We need to shift this debate from a false narrative of us versus them to how we can work together to solve the broader problem.”

Asked why he had stated that Upper West Siders oppose a plan to bring “black kids to their schools,” a Department of Education spokesperson wrote that: “Those weren’t his words. He just posted the story. That was the headlines from the website.” That’s a debatable statement, however. When a person clicks Tweet on a story at that site, they can then determine what text to add before the link. To simply tweet the headline requires an affirmative decision to do so.

Regardless of the mechanics of the tweet, Carranza’s sentiment and most of the coverage have missed some very salient points. The Upper West Side is actually the first neighborhood in the city to tackle the problem of segregation in middle schools in a comprehensive plan like this. And while the neighborhood is now smeared as being filled with racist parents, the desegregation plan has actually been parent-led!

Since Carranza’s tweet, some parents tell us they have even less faith in the city to actually listen to parents — after months during which the DOE has stonewalled parents about how the plan would work despite repeated calls from leaders of these efforts.

“It is very disheartening that our new Chancellor would tweet out an inflammatory and inaccurate article (from a questionable news source) – stereotyping an entire group of parents, and hurting our community’s ability to have a thoughtful discussion about how to make our schools better,” the parent of an elementary school student at PS 199 wrote in an email to West Side Rag. “I attended the full meeting and what I heard were parents concerned about the academic gap and the large number of low performing schools in the District, and did not hear a single parent suggest that having more ethnic diversity in school is not a worthy goal.”

Kristen Berger is the head of the middle school committee at Community Education Council 3, a group elected by other school parents that advises the Department of Education on policy issues. It covers the Upper West Side and West Harlem. Berger has worked for years to come up with a middle school diversity plan for the district, and has spent the last few months explaining it to parents. She tells us that she sensed no racial animus among the parents in the room at the meeting last week. The chancellor’s tweet, she said, was “really problematic.”

“It does hamper parents’ ability to feel comfortable about speaking,” she said.

Carranza, who started the job on April 2, said in a statement that he’s “heard repeatedly from students, parents and staff who have felt empowered to share their voices and raise the issue of segregation in schools – and I’m glad we’re talking about it. My goal with that post was to share information and encourage dialogue on this important issue.”

The dialogue, however, has been going on for months, and Carranza has not attended any of the meetings that occurred after he took over the job. Furthermore, his record on improving achievement gaps between white students and minorities is itself troubling. The NAACP of San Francisco, where Carranza was leader for four years before leaving for Houston, recently asked for a state of emergency to be declared because of the enormous gaps on test scores. After Carranza’s 18 month tenure in Houston, the Houston Chronicle opined that “if Mayor Bill de Blasio and others think they’ve scored the next great wunderkind, they should think again.” The DOE would not make Carranza available for an interview.

The Upper West Side undoubtedly has a problem with segregated elementary and middle schools. CEC3 passed a plan in 2016 to desegregate a few elementary schools, but a large portion of the district remains segregated. For middle school, white children tend to go to just five of the 17 schools in the district.

Middle school admissions is a confusing process whereby students apply to schools and then those schools choose them on a variety of metrics. Some have interviews, some give higher weighting for test scores, some give them lower weights. They have also historically been able to see where students rank their schools, and they can use that to determine their offer strategy. Next year, middle school principals won’t be able to see where students rank them, however, and they worry that will hurt their ability to add more diversity to their student bodies.

The diversity plan aims to make the schools more diverse even after the policy. But it’s debatable whether it is in fact a diversity plan at all.

The plan doesn’t actually take racial or economic diversity head-on. It uses test scores, instead of socioeconomic status, geographic area or race and ethnicity. Currently, five out of the 17 schools in District 3 take the vast majority of kids who score 3 or 4 (on a scale from 1 to 4 with 4 being the most proficient). And about 84% of the students who score 1 or 2 are black or Hispanic. Those five schools give between 50% and 87% offers to 3s and 4s, while the rest give between 5% and 26% of their offers to 3s and 4s. The new plan would insure that at least 25% of kids at every school had scored a 1 or a 2 on the state tests.

Parents and principals have been generally supportive of the plan, Berger and others say. But they’ve raised concerns about whether the 12 middle schools that rarely admit kids with 3 or 4 scores will be prepared to educate an “academically diverse” student body where some kids read at 8th grade level and some read at 3rd grade level. Parents’ questions have centered around whether the Department of Education will put any new resources into schools that have had lower test scores. And they haven’t gotten answers about that.

“I’m very frustrated that at this juncture on April 29 that we still do not have a written proposal. Nothing has been provided to us in writing, not a single thing,” said Kim Watkins, the President of CEC3.

“Whenever we’re discussing significant change for our public school system people deserve the opportunity to get all of the questions answered and to speak openly and honestly about what we want from our public education system,” she said. “We’re in the process of doing that. It’s not painless. It’s painful, in many ways.”

Berger thinks that parents sometimes speak from “academic privilege,” because they want their kids to go to schools that challenge them. But she’s been trying to reassure them that “the perceived loss is much more minor than people fear.”

Berger and Watkins were making progress and hopes that continues — not via Twitter, but via more meetings. We’ve posted the dates and times below. Berger says she hopes Carranza will come to one of the meetings to see the progress they’re making. The Department of Education did not respond to a question about whether he will do so.

“I think it would be wonderful,” Berger says. “This thing is really nuanced.”

The DOE is expected to make a decision on the plan by June.

NEWS | 183 comments | permalink
    1. Sid says:

      “Racially charged tweet” and “The inflammatory tweet,” really, West Side Rag?

      Truly the only thing racially charged and inflammatory is the way those parents behaved. Truly a shameful display.

      • Fed Up with the DOE says:

        Sid – I am not going to defend what the parents shown in the video said. However, I can tell you that I was at that meeting (and have been at many others on this topic) and there was no racial animosity present, as Ms. Berger mentions above. The media went for the sensational and they got it.

        I have no problem with the Chancellor inserting himself in a major way. His tweet, rather than being informative, also went for the sensational. All of the twitter storm that has been the result of his tweet has centered on how the UWS is nothing but a bunch of racists and has missed the point that this “plan” has lacked any details since last year. Ms. Watkins is correct….the DOE has provided parents no information and we are in May.

        Thank you WSR for this balanced article….

        • Sid says:

          I was not at the meeting, however I do object to how the WSR framed the whole situation.

          This article and site is supposed to report on what happen without bias. Using the terms “racially charged” and “inflammatory” injects the views of the author into the article, and makes it sound like an op-ed, or just amateurish writing.

          I respect the writers of the WSR and their work, but they still need to be held accountable for their words.

        • MaxGTV says:

          How many black or Hispanic parents did you see at that meeting? I couldn’t see a single one, and that make perfect sense as to why this is being painted in a certain way

      • UWS Parent says:

        Were you there? I was there and I can second that the coverage of this meeting was extremely inflammatory. I applaud the Rag for starting a more nuanced dialogue.

        While the media has portrayed families as generally against diversity / unwilling to participate in academically diverse classrooms – the primary concern for most of these families has been that there are not enough academically diverse schools from which to choose.

        As currently proposed, the floors policy only directly affects the admissions policies at 4 of our district’s middle schools. The policy changes who has access to these schools (which is a necessary and laudable goal), but it neither increases the number of academically diverse schools nor does it bridge the broad statistical gap that exists between the 4 or 5 most well-known schools and the other dozen schools in our district.

        The DOE’s model showed that between 62 and 76 offers would shift from most well-known three schools, but only a handful would be added to Mott Hall and Manhattan School for Children, which are already approaching an ideal diversity distribution. The vast majority of affected students would be given offers at the remaining dozen schools where offers to 3s/4s have been between 5% and 26% of their total. That is a huge statistical gap from the DOE model’s target range for diversity at the affected 4 schools of 62% to 76% 3s/4s. The DOE is asking the parents to accept academic diversity, but the schools that the majority of these students will be assigned to are and will remain far from academically diverse under this limited proposal.

        To better understand this gap, access the DOE’s middle school simulation summary on the middle school committee web page or click here for the DOE’s Excel spreadsheet.

        Parents aren’t just blindly fighting against diversity here – they are asking the DOE to also consider enacting policies that directly impact the admissions practices at more than just the 4 affected schools. Rather than randomly spreading offers to affected students across a dozen schools, why not employ admissions policies at specific schools (such as floors for 3s and 4s as well as 1s and 2s)so that the number of academically schools continues to grow in our district? As the number of academically diverse schools increases, educational opportunity is shared across our district.

        Unfortunately, it is easier to demonize parents than it is to work through these and other complexities of this issue.

      • Michael Hobson says:

        Race hustlers at large again against parent legit concerns only way to describe this. A school is not ‘segregated’ if it correctly reflects the area demographics. Segregation is lip service cliche of an clueless and incompetent bureaucracy . Theres NO ‘racism’ here at this local level. But if any does exist it transparently an issue of allocation of resources and these parents know it as do the ‘officials’ such as that offensive and patronizing, moral-lecturing Principal attempting to break everyones’ heart. lol Here’s the truth: if a school district underperforms, the political solution evades the issue and says mix and match -rather than address the problem of that school district(s). It is a social engineering solution and rather one than precisely in the REVERSE manner it needs be addressed, fiscally and philosophically. Just consider where any logistical gravamen lies and it’s clear stepping back from the surface controversy, that the parents herein are far from elitist and more over have WORKED and PAID THEIR WAY to be where their family is. They have valid and legit concerns that THEIR kids’ interests suffer and being dislocated due NOT reflecting to implicit or explicit ‘racism’ on THEIR part(s) but by the FAILURE of the system to correctly allocate RESOURCES (resources that exist or must be made to) to what ever area school(s) 199 will be forced to accommodate (strictly for political reasons). DOE must increase the standards across the board! How is this not OBVIOUS? Teachers’ pay grades are the same whether in Harlem or UWS. Furthermore, the desired high performance grade of this UWS area is not from any magic of the geographics per se but irrepproducable ‘demographics” due disproportionately to the parents themselves (reread that) who invest high expectations and standards into their kids; in some cases nowhere to be found in the other districts. Mix and match ‘busing’ is no substitute for that if 1. the parents are not involved and 2. politicians pretend resources are being correctly allocated to its limits. If latter were true even if kids from so called ‘disadvantaged’ areas would have a haven for the progress the system wants to dilute elsewhere that it exists and in time effectively undermine in those other carry areas. The parents herein are absolutely adamantly justified and correct in offering resistance to this bureaucracy. It is what THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO and it is not their fault. They are, ultimately, we all will be, victims of such municipal and bureaucratic incompetence and social engineering by people that cannot solve our problems. We must make this a voting issue at all levels of society.

    2. Sherman says:

      Carranza should be fired for his tweet.

      Most of the white families he attacks as being “wealthy” are just barely getting by trying to raise a family on the UWS. These parents are paying a fortune to live here and many are very active in PS 199’s community to ensure a quality education.

      As noted in this article Carranza has a dreadful track record at his previous positions. He is only looking for trouble by attacking a successful school and safe community.

      There was a time not too long ago when PS 199 was a lousy and undesirable school. The community should not be criticized for turning it around.

      Unfortunately, Carranza and incompetent radicals like him want to revert the UWS to the bad old days.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        You voted for DeBlasio, you get more DeBlasios. I have no sympathy for any of you, as you’re “liberal” until it affects you personally.

        • Sherman says:


          I never voted for DeBlasio.

          But yes, I agree it’s very easy to call yourself a “liberal” while you live in a protected bubble. I know 199 parents whose political leanings are to the left of Bernie Sanders but are crying bloody murder over the 199 integration plans and are threatening to send their kids to private schools or leave the city altogether if these plans come to fruition.

          • UWS Mom says:

            They should leave for private school. The classes at 199 will be smaller and those parents will get what they want…NO DIVERSITY. And by diversity I mean socioeconomic diversity or special needs diversity. Most UWS parents think their child is “high performing”. God forbid they share a classroom with a poor kid who has dyslexia. District 3 middle schools are in the lack of diversity issue because they have allowed lack of diversity in the elementary school level. Parents of 199 have had the CEC by the balls for years!!!! Nothing new. But like that 199 parent so eloquently put it “Life Sucks”.

        • Mark says:

          UWSHebrew – perhaps it would surprise you to know that many left-leaning New Yorkers voted for the GOP candidate for mayor in the past two elections (myself included).
          Try to understand that some people are individuals who don’t march in lockstep with their chosen party. I know that thinking can be hard, but I’m sure you can do better.

        • Jason says:

          Here here. Everyone is progressive and inclusive until it comes to their kid, at which time rather than admitting that they don’t want whatever is coming to their backyard, they try to play victim. If it looks like a duck. . .and believe me, these folks are flying like ducks.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            they’re all hypocrites Jason. every single one of them. “BLM” except where you live! LOL!!!

      • Poor Millionaires says:

        I’m sorry. I know many of these families don’t consider themselves wealthy. They don’t have excess money to throw around. They don’t own yachts. However, I am curious why families who live in 1.5Million dollar apartments and or pay north of $5000 per month in rent, earn well into 6 figures, are not considered wealthy?

        whether that matters or not for this conversation is another story. But, objectively, they are wealthy.

        If Bill Gates doesn’t consider himself wealthy, does that mean he is not?

        I have friends who have purchased apartments for north of 1.5 million, spent hundreds of thousands in additional renovation. Send their kids to summer camps that cost over 1000 per week. They don’t consider themselves wealthy. That’s their prerogative. But the rest of us do consider them wealthy.

        By any objective measure, parents of certain schools are disproportionately wealthy, whether they consider themselves to be or not.

        • KatieInNYC says:

          Many people in this country define being middle class as buying a home, having a few kids, driving one car, going on a one week vacation once a year and saving something for retirement. That’s what has been marketed to us as the American Dream right?
          Unfortunately living in Manhattan is very expensive and if someone is lucky enough to have the funds to purchase a home here -and not many of us do and that’s why NYC is a city of renters – then they often don’t have the money to do ANYTHING else. Can’t buy a car, can’t go on a vacation, save for retirement, nothing. Maybe that’s why these people who managed to buy a home don’t think of themselves as being rich. I don’t have the funds for a $1.5 million apartment or 5K in housing payments but I think that amount of money gets someone a one bedroom or maybe a junior 4 in Manhattan. Hardly a luxury lifestyle for that chunk of change.

          • Woody says:

            I think your depiction of the American Dream and assumptions about wealth and real estate and on shaky ground.

          • Kevin Schultz says:

            Right, but because I’m not wealthy enough to do all of those things on the UWS, I’m getting priced out of the UWS now that my wife and I are planning to start a family. The people that *can* do those things are wealthy, even if they’re in the middle or lower income tier of those that rent / own 2+ bedroom apartments in the neighborhood. It’s classic selection bias to assert otherwise.

      • Mark says:

        Sounds like white saviourism to me

      • Sommers says:

        Yeah, but they ain’t black, brown or yellow, so they are RACISTS!!!

      • Daniel says:

        “Most of the white families he attacks as being “wealthy” are just barely getting by trying to raise a family on the UWS. These parents are paying a fortune to live here and many are very active in PS 199’s community to ensure a quality education.”

        As a fellow New Yorker outside of the upper west side who struggles immensely to pay rent (among all other life necessities) each month and makes less than $80k I want to say “SHUT UP.” Just because they “struggle” with their leftovers paying $4000-6000 a month rent or paying off some obscene mortgage for their multi-million dollar townhouse does not make anyone share any sort of commonality with their struggles.

        In any case, I know just as almost everyone does with a brain that it is completely moronic and false to characterize the UWS (or any neighborhood for that matter) as being filled with a bunch of “racists.” Having said that, I find it just as nauseating to play victim of such a narrative by the “divisive” tweet of the chancellor. If a damn tweet will stall progress on increase diversity and ongoing desegregation efforts, I’d love for you to provide a detailed explanation of how it delays it.

        • Sherman says:

          I agree. It’s probably tough to live on the UWS on $80K a year.

          But nobody is forcing you to live here. You should consider another neighborhood or borough.

          • dannyboy says:

            real neighborly.

            Sherm, why DO you read a NEIGHBORHOOD blog?

          • UWS Dad says:

            Sherman – your comment is incredibly short sighted and continues to highlight the general problem in our neighborhood. This shouldn’t be an us versus them discussion.

            People choose to live where they do for a variety of reasons and we shouldn’t judge them for it. I know I can certainly save more money if I lived in the suburbs or another part of the city, but I choose to sacrifice future dollars for the ability to drop my children off at school in the morning and be home for dinner rather then spending my time commuting for hours.

            • Sherman says:

              You’re 100% correct.

              I’d like to live in Beverly Hills for a variety of reasons but I can’t afford to.

              I believe the city of Los Angeles should provide me with an affordable home there.

      • Mootown says:

        Bad old days…. like before all the white yuppies moved in? “Just getting by”…. unbelievable. NIMBY in its truest form.

      • J says:

        Hello Sherman,
        Puzzled about your assertion that PS 199 was a “lousy” school until “not too long ago.”

        Actually PS 199 has been a well-regarded school for at least 20 years. BTW the school was built for/with Lincoln Towers.

        Also I believe you have mentioned in other posts that you grew up in the suburbs – so it does not seem that you would actually have had knowledge to render an opinion on past UWS history….

    3. Sarah says:

      I’m pretty disgusted by the UWS’s resistance to school integration (you guys aren’t fooling anyone), but the chancellor should leave the bomb-throwing to private citizens like me. These kinds of specific attacks on specific citizens aren’t appropriate from officials.

      • PM says:

        Sarah, Have you attended any of the Middle school admissions meetings or are you versed at all in what the concerns are? Or perhaps Twitter is your sole source of information. Until the new Chancellor or people like yourself actually educate your selves on what ALL the concerns are from families across the city and district, and stop casting judgement based solely on your interpretations, segregation will continue as perpetuated by your broad brushed statements. Shame on you.

        • Sarah says:

          You don’t know how much I’ve read on the subject or what my sources of information are, yet you immediately decide I should be ashamed? I sincerely hope you’re teaching your kids a little more critical thinking skills and a little less jumping to conclusions. Your conscience is bothering you–don’t project onto others.

    4. dannyboy says:

      Spread the shame!

    5. AC says:

      Saw the video, and the issue/debate was over allowing 25% classroom space for those students who average below standard Math and English scores. Didn’t hear anyone bring race or the color of anyone’s skin, as being an issue. I, as a Latino raised in the UWS attended school in the UWS, and some of those students who tested below average were ‘white.’ This is being turned into a race issue, when it shouldn’t. Education, no matter what race, or wealth, begins at home.

      • Nina York says:

        Yes–the plan calls for schools like Booker T and Computer to take in 25% of kids who score 1’s and 2’s on the state tests. However, if you are scoring below level on the state tests how do you expect the student will perform at a screened middle school with an accelerated/rigorous academic program? No one has answered these questions. Computer school is racially diverse but not academically diverse. The same for Center School–that principal operates her school like a private one. She handpicks the students each year and they too are racially diverse but not academically diverse. And will the DOE give her a pass from taking in these students? You also have a great gem of a school in the northern part district called Mott Hall 2. It is primarily Hispanic with about an even number of both black and white students. They have a strong principal and take in kids who are academically motivated. Inside Schools said 64% of the kids scored a 3 or 4 on the state ELA test. I guess at the end of the day the question is whether a kid who is struggling academically will benefit from a more challenging environment or will the schools create separate classes for these kids, which basically means segregation within the school and goes against the core of the plan.

        • AC says:

          Point noted Nina

        • Uwsparent says:

          The answer is those schools will have to teach to the lowest common denominator and parents of high performing kids will flee for the suburbs.

          • dannyboy says:

            “parents of high performing kids will flee for the suburbs.”


            The threat of White Flight came early this time.
            my, my

            • Carlos says:

              Actually, it isn’t white flight. It is highly educated professionals flight. Contrary to popular opinion, there are a lot of minorities in this category. What is truly sad about this whole discussion is that there seems to be an underlying assumption among those who support these changes that minority=not smart.

            • dannyboy says:

              Carls, “the underlying assumption among those who support these changes that minority=equally smart” AND THUS DESERVING OF AN EQUAL EDUCATION.

              This is straightforward and simple. It is being muddied by those who only want that education for their own children.

            • Carlos says:

              I want the best education for everyone. And to achieve that, students of like abilities should be grouped together. That allows teachers to teach most effectively, particularly as students get older.

              If the problem is that the elementary schools that are predominantly minority students are producing students with lower test scores, figure out the cause of that problem and put resources behind solving it. Everyone deserves an excellent education.

              Also, I would like to have a survey of the families of students who would make up the lower 20% of students at Booker T and other schools and see whether they actually want their kids to be there. Because I have a feeling that many of them want no part of it.

            • dannyboy says:

              “I want the best education for everyone.” – Carlos (apologize for my misspelling previously, I never did master the keyboard).

              But students don’t need to be segregated by ability to achieve that. Believe it or not, children learn from EACH OTHER, so having different talents and achievements benefits ALL the children.

              “Because I have a feeling that many of them want no part of it.” – Carlos

              That would be a read indictment of the atmosphere at the school. That has got to change.

    6. Rob G. says:

      I hope Carranza’s tweet does derail this plan. His race-baiting and classist rant embodies everything that’s wrong with trying to improve our broken public education system by basing it on diversity instead of merit. Hey Chancellor – want to improve our underperforming schools? THEN FIX THEM. But lowering standards just to make people feel good is just plain dumb.

    7. B says:

      He should be fired. Period.
      What a shameful and sneaky behavior by an official responsible of education!

    8. KatieInNYC says:

      The Upper West Side has long been known for its inclusivity and multi-cultural vibe and liberal orientation. Maybe the parents should sue the new chancellor for slander and defamation of character if they feel they have been misrepresented. The chancellor has shown a real lack of professional judgment and it’s a disappointment that he behaved this way if the parents’ responses were taken out of context or only partially presented.

      • dannyboy says:

        “The Upper West Side has long been known for its inclusivity and multi-cultural vibe and liberal orientation.”

        Make that “had”

        I’m embarrassed by these young parents in our neighborhood. I hope that the children learn better.

        • Sherman says:

          Hi dannyboy

          You’ve previously boasted that your daughter attended Stuyvesant HS.

          Stuyvesant is under fire these days for having a racist admissions policy and for not being diverse.

          Since you’re so offended by racist schools you should have pulled your daughter out of Stuyvesant.

          Yep, you’re a true progressive.

          You’re the last person who should be lecturing anyone about being racist.


          • dannyboy says:


            I wasn’t boasting. I am proud of my children.

            I am only “offended” by you and your lies.

            • Sherman says:

              Hi dannyboy

              Ok, so you deliberately sent your kids to an elitist school with very few students of color but anyone else who does the same thing is a racist (but you’re not).

              Yep, you’re a progressive.

              Got it, thanks.


            • Juan says:

              Agree with you Sherman – those in glass houses…

              Stuyvesant has had diversity issues for ages. Someone as wise as dannyboy would surely know about that. If he practiced what he preaches, his daughter would have gone to a neighborhood HS.

            • dannyboy says:


              I never put in effort to ensure that my children got a better school than anyone else. When my children attended P.S. 87 it was 40% minority and much a much healthier learning environment.

              But it would appear that you were exposed to a toxic environment; how else to explain your bitterness?

    9. N says:

      I wish the NY Times covered issues such as this as well as the West Side Rag.

    10. Pedestrian says:

      The new Chancellor was the second choice for a
      reason. He likes the race card and he didn’t wait very long to play it. Divide and conquer! What a sad state of affairs. He was second choice for a reason!

    11. Education Scholar says:

      While I am not opposed to diversity, I am curious to know what does the DOE propose to do to support equity in education to encourage academic diversity appropriately. Will the DOE be giving at least three qualified teachers per class per school per grade to support diverse learners? Will DOE offer additional support to kids who struggle academically? This is not about segregation but rather offering adequate means for success of ALL public schools. Will you be reaching out for federal funding? What remains unclear in your proposal is how you will meet the need of supporting academic diversity and providing adequate support for instruction time so ALL learners can benefit.

    12. Jason says:

      NIMBY personified.

    13. Margaret says:

      Oh please. PS 191 and PS 199 are segregated. They are. It’s disgusting, and the wealthy white parents – they are, in fact, white and wealthy; that is not racist to observe – deserve every bit of scrutiny and sunlight they received. This isn’t a “more conversation” issue or a creepy, disgusting, dogwhistle tweet from Gale Brewer issue.

      Just integrate the schools, now, and the neighborhood can quit being ashamed of it. A school principal got up to share his absolute disappointment with the parents – they absolutely deserved that too. I notice your article didn’t bother to report on his comments. Why?

      • Peter says:

        Margaret – “Just integrate the schools now.” What’s your plan?

        • Kevin Schultz says:

          Drop the whole admission / selection process. Put every kid in the nearest school, or randomly assign kids to a school within a maximum walking distance. I’m not sure it would be better, but it is how most places in the country run their schools.

          “Middle school admissions is a confusing process whereby students apply to schools and then those schools choose them on a variety of metrics. Some have interviews, some give higher weighting for test scores, some give them lower weights. They have also historically been able to see where students rank their schools, and they can use that to determine their offer strategy. Next year, middle school principals won’t be able to see where students rank them, however, and they worry that will hurt their ability to add more diversity to their student bodies.”

          • Peter says:

            Kevin – Your proposal won’t work and will only lead to more segregation in our schools. All you need to do is look at the demographics of the UWS, as an example. The bulk of the minority families live north of 100th street and the bulk of white families live south of 100th street. this is why the district went through the rezoning process last year.

          • Reed says:

            Kevin you brought up important points and you are right that a child should attend their local school. However, within this school district Community Board 7, the Council Members, and the Borough Presidents over the years have been directing impoverished families into an already segregated Manhattan Valley. This unofficial policy is responsible for the segregation of families in great need, with special problems, poor English proficiency and an array of issues. In other words the northern sector of the school district has children that are under achievers and likely to demonstrate more social problems due to the housing situation throughout the Upper West Side. Again, the northern sector has the vast majority of low-income and supportive housing and this situation may provide shelter, however in Conn. it has been proven to offer less educational, work and social opportunities. Even cultural opportunities are void in poor neighbors and certainly Manhattan Valley is an example of this vs. the West 70s, 80s, 90s.

            Again, you are on target…..we as Upper West Siders have to deal with the heart of this problem by addressing the intentional economic steering of low-income and supportive housing in one concentrated area. The blame for the educational mess goes back to our Borough President, Community Board 7 and our City Council

    14. Joel says:

      Berger thinks that parents sometimes speak from “academic privilege,” because they want their kids to go to schools that challenge them. But she’s been trying to reassure them that “the perceived loss is much more minor than people fear.

      Ok, let’s unwrap this quote: “speaking from academic privilege… because they want their kids to go to schools that challenge them” Where does the idea of privilege come in to this? Is she saying that poor people don’t want their kids challenged? And I know this woman, and her kids are already in middle school so it won’t impact her.
      And this new chancellor, if this kind of racist tweet were sent about parents of poor kids he’d be fired.

      • UWS Parent says:

        We have two fundamental issues here. First is the disproportionate distribution of 3s and 4s in 3 of the district’s 17 middle schools. The second is the drastic statistical drop in the number of 3s/4s offers at the most well-known five schools versus the remaining dozen schools.

        I agree with Ms. Berger that the effect of the floors policy will will be nominal in certain ways – the academic quality of schooling at the 4 schools affected by the floors is not likely to change substantially. However, for the students who receive offers in schools that are not even close to approaching academic diversity – they may be only one of a few or slightly greater number of students performing at or above grade level in a class (assuming the majority of the offers are accepted). I am not guessing here. That is what the data the DOE compiled suggests.

        Still, I implore people not to make this issue about attacking individuals, from the CEC, the DOE, or the affected schools. We should be focusing in the issues here and not demonizing individuals on either side. Ms. Berger has worked tirelessly and ethically to help our community work through these issues and I applaud her efforts.

        • Hypocrisy says:

          Okay, then let’s diversify the embarrassingly segregated District 3 Gifted & Talented programs, including the CEC’s precious Anderson school. Nothing personal towards the CEC members who happen to send their kids there. Let’s see a proposal.

          • Peter says:

            Hypocrisy – Here in lies the rub. The DOE is calling on all school districts to figure out a plan to diversify their schools. Yet, schools like Anderson go unchecked. The answer from the Superintendent of District 3 is that Anderson is a city-wide school and not a district school so she can’t do anything about it. How about that.

            • Hypocrisy says:

              Right. These extraordinarily privileged kids won a lottery, so they get to be…even more privileged. how about that.

          • UWSdad says:

            You are misinformed. Anderson is not a District 3 Gifted & Talented program.

            • Hypocrisy says:

              Anderson families are eager to be a part of District 3 when it is in their interest. They attend D3 events, an Anderson parent occupies a powerful position on the CEC3, their PTA reaps a huge amount of money from the local weekend greenmarket in their yard. But ask them to comply with the new District inclusive admissions policies, and they claim they don’t have to do so because they aren’t part of the district.

              Yep…enjoy hypocrisy at its finest.

      • Hypocrisy says:

        The CEC is the most smug, hypocritical group of people I have ever come across. These so-called “parent leaders” calling for integration send their own children to extremely segregated Gifted & Talented programs. And try to shame other parents into following their ill-conceived proposals.

        • seriously? says:

          Hypocrisy – can you back up your generalized insult with some facts please?

          • Hypocrisy says:

            The CEC members are well known for not eating their own cooking.

            As to the racial composition of G&T classrooms, Anderson has 3.4% Black and 8% Hispanic students, according to Inside Schools, and an 8% poverty rate. The DOE doesn’t break out stats for District G&T programs, but it’s painfully obvious when you tour.

            • Hypocrisy says:

              I know I will be accused of “picking on” Anderson school. It is merely an extreme example of a loophole that allows primarily white & Asian middle- and upper-middle class families to shield their kids from classrooms that contain poor minority children. Separating children by test scores during the middle school process was/is another.

              As we are looking to close off those loopholes and force diversity into District 3, I believe G&T should very much be under discussion. Even if that is a loophole favored by the CEC members themselves.

              If Anderson school does not wish to be included in District 3 diversity plans, it is welcome to move elsewhere.

    15. poor millionaires says:

      I think we also need to contextualize that past meetings involving ps 199 parents included racially insensitive comments (even hissing and booing a woman of color who dared speak about inclusivity).

      When it was elementary school the arguments were: school x is too far, I purchased property to get into a particular school, etc. Now that those arguments don’t apply, they are still fighting with a whole new set of arguments.

      The one thing in common is ” I want what’s good for my kid” and what’s good for my kid does not involve poor people.

    16. Felicia says:

      The Left hates the Right.
      The Right hates the Left as much.
      Introspection zilch.

      A haiku

    17. Gail Dedrick says:

      Personally, I think the Chancellor left off the word WHINY. Otherwise, he hit the nail on the head.

      • UWS Dad says:

        the Chancellor actually apologized today for his choice of words. He went for the sensational and he got it. Rather then put out a tweet that actually had any substance, he chose the route of the media sound byte.

        Overnight he has turned this issue into an “us against them”, when the local parent body (the CEC) has been working overtime to unpack the lack of information and issues this plan has had.

    18. Carlos says:

      That is a Trump-esque tweet from the Chancellor – send out something sensationalistic to rally the masses. He should be fired immediately.

      I oppose this plan strongly but I am as far from a racist as they get, and I know a number of minority families that also oppose it. Most of the white families that oppose it would be OK if their child was the only white person at the school if the other students deserved to be there. The word racist is used way too loosely.

      The majority of the students who would receive the low performing slots are being set up to fail. They will struggle mightily to keep up with their much better prepared classmates and get frustrated. It is the equivalent of putting my child who has no athletic ability on the Red Bulls – neither side would benefit at all.

      Resources should be spent to help poorer elementary schools perform better so that more students are qualified to attend the more desirable schools rather than forcing change.

      • Daniel says:

        “Most of the white families that oppose it would be OK if their child was the only white person at the school {if the other students deserved to be there.}”

        You may not be racist Carlos, but you sure are something. Also, unlike an AP Bio class in high school, 2nd grade curriculum is/ should not be solely ‘merit’ based as this is not a charter school. You are presuming low performing slotted students would be setup to fail without any empirical evidence of said outcome. I’d like to offer some of you the struggles that the rest of the city faces in all aspects of socioeconomic well-being. From an outsiders perspective it (any opposition to this initiative) seems very trivial and bursting with (perhaps slightly unknown) privilege used in a selfish way.

        • Carlos says:

          This is for 6th grade, not 2nd grade. I agree that differentiating kids academically in the early grades is difficult, particularly based on a test, which is why I am not a fan of G&T. By 6th grade, kids can clearly be differentiated.

          Different kids learn at different paces. And some kids are very strong in certain subjects but weak in others. Kids of like abilities should be grouped together to create an ideal teaching environment.

          If all the kids who are in the lower academic groups are minorities, someone should figure out why this is happening. Projects like this will not solve the problem. I generally dislike the Mayor, but I do think that universal pre-k was a positive step in the right direction.

    19. proud PS 191 parent says:

      I live at 50 Riverside Blvd, where every morning the private shuttle service drops off at least ten kids at PS 199, even though the building has always been zoned for PS 191. My kid is the only kid in the entire building who currently goes to PS 191, I think.

      We all know that “test scores” is a euphemism for “underprivileged dark-skinned kids.” It is fear that drives these emotions, these decisions, and the rampant feeling that 199 is somehow better than 191 because the parents have more money.

      While this may be true (Exhibit A: very hard to sell tickets to the Benefit Auction on 5/18,, PS 191 has phenomenal leadership and staff, and the new building reinforces how good it is.

      The fact that we don’t have to hang out with striving upper-middle class racists is an added benefit (except in Pre-K, which pulls from a wider catchment area, and certain of whose parents are, well, more like certain PS 199 parents.)

      • Stop Assuming says:

        And yet you choose to live with all those people you despise. Good for you, hypocrite.

      • Leon says:

        Says the person who lives in a building with a “poor door.”

        Please stop generalizing. Most of us want to have our children in schools with other children from families that similarly prioritize education. Many of us make huge sacrifices to do so. And we really, truly don’t care about the race or class of those other kids. If that was the case, we would send our kids to private school or move to Scarsdale, Bronxville or Garden City.

        • Daniel Samberg says:

          Says the person who lives in a neighborhood with an average rent of $4600. An area that cannot open itself to newcomers unless they are in a STEM related field or extremely successful/ at the top of the corporate ladder.

          So many comments I view here read as “we’re the farthest from being racist, as long as the person turns out (or in the case of children: are projected or on the right path) to be someone (or personify the type of person) who is able to afford to live in the Upper West Side in modern times.

          As someone who lives outside of the UWS in a middle class neighborhood in Brooklyn (and will likely never be able to afford to live anywhere remotely near it due to my career choice and skills), I look at your defensiveness against an accusation of being racist in a perplexed manner. I would like to carry over some of the socioeconomic burden the rest of the city faces in overall well-being and pour it on your doorsteps. The whole notion of playing “victim” of the chancellor’s tweet and/or opposing the plan altogether reeks of privilege (and not the kind used in a positive light).

        • proud PS 191 parent says:

          Leon, “families who similarly prioritize education” seems to be a euphemism, a dog whistle, a way of being classist at the very least and racist at the very worst.

          Look, I’m pretty sure you’re a good person with generally enlightened beliefs. And the comments section of the WSR is no place for you or others to begin to acknowledge your own implicit/unconscious biases. But man, you’ve got to listen deeply to yourself and hear where your convictions are coming from.

      • Peter says:

        your last paragraph is telling and candidly, a pretty awful thing to say and does nothing to advance the dialogue.

        I hope you aren’t treating those Pre-K families and children that are “well, more like certain PS 199 parents” poorly. Or maybe you are and now you know why those Pre-K families don’t stay at 191 for kindergarten

        • recovering entitled Yuppie says:

          Treat entitled yuppies poorly? Heavens, who would do such a thing??? After all, they deserve to be treated with respect and deference, especially by the underclass whom they bless by their voluntary presence.

      • Really!?!? says:

        proud PS 191 parent – Have you ridden on the shuttle or do you assume that all the children boarding the shuttle are going to 199. There are currently three children that get off at the 199 stop and the rest get off at the other stop so that they can access public transportation.

        I can tell you that I think the 191 principal is fantastic but a new building does nothing to reinforce the idea of a successful school. Why was 191 not represented at several middle school informational gatherings? I would have liked to learn more about the school but they need to do more outreach to attract students. I see Henry everywhere. What I can say about the Computer School is that they are able to teach the academically gifted, the average and the struggling student. Not all of the UWS schools can claim that.

        I agree that you should be a proud 191 mom. It is a good school and will only get better over time. However, just because we moved here to be able to get more space for the $ does not make me a racist because I kept my kids at 199. It’s ridiculous but it does make a great headline and fuels the conversations. Let’s hope that parents and the DOE can keep their eye on the prize and come up with a way to educate all of our fantastic students. Let’s not forget that district three is being singled out because we do not have catchment schools for middle school and do not have any priority high schools for the district like others in the city. We are different from the other districts, but it is not because we are filled with racists and hateful people. The choice system, as district three calls it, has it’s flaws and the stress the DOE puts on our children is unfair. Adding this kind of hate and judgement only makes it worse.

    20. Chris says:

      If you don’t agree with Liberals you will be called a racist.

      • Kate says:

        I hope they keep it up, personally. Makes it that much easier to not vote for them.

      • Tim says:

        Exactly Chris. Disagree with libs and the name calling begins. Racist, classist, etc. All because they want their kids to have the best education possible. Social engineering does NOT work.

    21. BR says:

      The calls of racism seem to be less a mistake and more of a concerted strategy around changes that represent a drastic policy change that is quite unfair to those who played by the rules.

      This is bad public policy in both its failure to communicate and the sudden nature of penalizing those who have worked hard and sacrificed to make sure their kids get the best public education.

      Integration is ultimately good policy, but should be implemented gradually and gently. FYI, integration in the only solution here to garner the best possible positive educational outcomes for the most amount of kids. Click my name for a “This American Life” about the subject.

    22. De Blasio doesn’t like you says:

      That a brand new chancellor felt ok to tweet in that manner with no blowback illustrates Di Blasio has no regard for uws.

      • UWSDad says:

        To be fair, the Mayor did criticize the Chancellor’s choice of words. Chalkbeat is reporting that the Chancellor apologized today for his tweet.

        • DiBlasio doesn’t like you UWS says:

          With respect, chalkbeat does not an adequate public apology or dressdown make in this case. Mayor has failed UWS in almost 100% of cases since he was elected. – Life long 10023/24.

        • Cynthia says:

          “Carranza said Monday that while he was sorry if his tweet offended anyone, he continues to stand behind the substance behind it. “The video of the comments that were made — I don’t know how anybody could be okay with that,” he said.”

          Sounds like a sincere apology.

      • OldTimerUWS says:

        He knows he doesn’t have to care, look at all the obvious corruption and he got reelected anyway simply by being the liberal in the age of Trump. He could have paved over Riverside Park so Reichnitz and Rechberg could land their chartered jets there and UWS voters would have said that’s ok, Central Park’s not that far.

    23. District 3 Parent says:

      I was at the meetings and the outspoken parents did seem biased, and racist against children who were less privileged than their own. They didn’t propose solutions. Just interested in saying that the plan was too flawed, when in fact it will make little change to desegregate, but we have to start somewhere.

    24. Left the fight says:

      The WSR did a great job with this story, and will continue to do so. A lot of great comments from people on both sides of this. Underpriviliged children that attend broken schools that DOE doesn’t have the ability or desire to properly fix now have the same opportunity to attend the same middle schools as children whose parents pay thousands of dollars for tutors for their 4th graders in order for them score well on the tests and get in the best middle schools.

      However, as a former UWS parent whose children couldn’t attend their zoned elementary school, (which was mandated by the Chancellor’s regulations at the time) I personally witnessed the hate from the PS 199 PTA and their undying efforts to prevent wait listed children living in the PS 199 zone from attending their zoned school. The 199 community that spoke out against wait listed 4 and 5 year olds from attending their zoned school because they didn’t want their children to be in an “overcrowded” school are now scared because they feel their children won’t be able to go to their preferred middle school.

      The tables have been turned on these 199 families who fought the fight to deny wait listed children entrance into their zoned school.

      As one reader wrote, there are many nuances to this middle school issue, but I have no sympathy for the 199 parents who oppose this plan.

      I also think the Chancellor was wrong for his tweet, and probably doesn’t have the skill to navigate this, which is why he has been avoiding the issue, other than a tweet.

      I’m just glad I’m out of the fight, but am enjoying watching a group of 199 parents squirm after they turned their backs on their neighbors for many years.

      • Stop Assuming says:

        Curious why you were so adamant that your children attend 199 despite the over-crowding? I’m sure the demographics at the alternative option school had nothing to do with it – it was simply because the Chancellor’s regulations said so. Give me a break.

    25. Jose Habib says:

      This chancellor (from Arizona?) seems pretty dopey and will likely be gone within the year.

    26. Uwsparent says:

      Great plan. Force smart high achieving kids to sit in classes with 1s and 2s and thus suffer because their parents couldn’t afford private school. All this does is drive more people out of the city who aren’t rich enough to afford private school. Yay lowest common denominator education.

      • Daniel Samberg says:

        I really hope that the UWS (and entire city) only has a few of you walking around but some days when my depression kicks in I ponder at the thought that there may be a lot of you out there.

      • OldTimerUWS says:

        That’s probably the objective.

        • dannyboy says:

          So OldTimer, you figure that it’s the DOE Objective “to drive more people out of the city who aren’t rich enough to afford private school.”?

          That’s some theory you got there.

          • OldTimerUWS says:

            Social engineering – Warren Wilhelm’s stock in trade. If he can run out the lifelong, market rate middle class, he can replace them with, on one hand, the global wealthy who pay more into the tax base, and on the other hand a larger group of people dependent on the government programs funded by that tax base. Political class of course is a big winner in this as they get to run the show, and, of course, get the votes.

            • dannyboy says:

              Wait a second! This is the Mayor’s scheme?


              OldTimerUWS, give me some idea of how Old.

              Mayor Mike tried this, but he was not motivated by votes. Only class. (source: “Mike” and confirmed by numerous personal fights).

            • Ari says:

              God I thought only newtimers to this neighborhood shared such pretentious notions. Good to know rampant, out-of-touch beliefs encompass all age groups in this beautiful town of Scarsdale (I mean the Upper West Side).

              UWS families who would move to the suburbs (specifically to the high-income suburbs in the tri-state area) due to this scenario are not the middle class. In addition, we should be encouraging this type of migration. It means that there will be that many fewer of them in the city. The fact that there are people who do NOT want this migration and are using it as a con perplexes me immensely. Do you walk down the street wishing/ praying that there were more nice looking white men with dogs and gym memberships who pay 4k for a shitty apartment? We’re good tax wise too..the city’s infrastructure and services will not crumble if a few more of them leave.

      • Jane says:

        But the 1s and 2s are the PC color so it’s fine!

      • Leon says:

        Until the DOE starts toying with their model, the east side is also an option rather than moving to the suburbs. I am not an expert on it, but from everything I have heard, the D2 middle school and high school model is dramatically better than D3.

        Excuse me while I look for a studio to sublet for a few months on the east side…

    27. Cassandra says:

      Hey UWS parents – recognize your choice is you have no choice. The DOE and or CEC are holding these meetings to “get your ideas” but its a farce – the DOE will do whatever it believes is best regardless of what you contribute. Dare to stick your hand up to make even a valid point or observation and you will be labeled a racist by the press (and some of your neighbors, too). Recognize your input does not matter, so don’t waste your time and energy by attending. People are railing because its May and no concrete plans have been provided, but this is standard operating procedure for the DOE – they don’t need to provide any plans in advance as they are just going to pass whatever they deem best.

    28. NYWoman says:

      Integrating ~20% of children into a better school is a proven way to bring grades up while maintaining the educative strength of the classrooms. It’s hard on parents and kids who have to get on the bus an hour earlier than usual to trek to the new school. It’s hard on the kids who are going to school with kids not from their neighborhood. In the end, however, these children do better in life, have better opportunities: they assume they must go to college. As for the suffering gifted and talented children getting into college, or being more challenged, I think we can figure that out too. While we are at it, we need more black male teachers. Breathe.

      • Jose Habib says:

        “As for the suffering gifted and talented children getting into college, or being more challenged, I think we can figure that out too.”

        Those with any options will just leave. Then you’re back to having “segregated schools” again.

        • dannyboy says:

          “Those with any options will just leave.” –

          Without their toxic resistance, we can then have healthier schools.

      • dannyboy says:

        The status quo harms the children who are not given the opportunity to go to a high-achieving school.

        It also hurts the children currently attending the high achieving school when they are prevented from learning lots from other interesting children and also from learning a decent lesson from their parents who resist diversity and decency.

        Why deprive all of the children of something better?

        • manhattan mark says:

          ATTENTION EVERYBODY: DannyBoy knows the UWS and
          knows that there is only ONE RACE (THE HUMAN RACE) and
          grade school should should allow all children in walking distance of the school to attend.JHS the same… elite HS has always had tests that qualify the students that go there, Bronx
          Science, Styuvesnt, and Brooklyn Tech and if there is some talent Music & Art. As someone who went to grade school,
          Junior High School and High school on the UWS the most
          important thing learned was that we can get along with all groups. At NYU I was shocked when I met kids from Brooklyn
          that came from schools that were predominately their own
          ethnic group and had difficulty getting friendly with others.

          • UWS Dad says:

            Manhattan Mark – The problem is that our neighborhoods are themselves segregated. I wish it was as simple as saying that kids should go to the schools within walking distance of their homes – I am a big believer in the importance of a community school. But right now, our communities are segregated so there needs to be another way.

            • dannyboy says:

              The fact is that the neighborhood is mixed population. The SCHOOL does not reflect the neighborhood demographics.

              Something’s fishy

              And THAT’S what stinks.

            • manhattan mark says:

              Upperwestside dad, I do understand that Riverside Boulevard
              and WEA in the low 60’s did not exist in my time. I was a JHS
              54 (Booker T. Washington) first graduating class in 1951. It was a commpletely mixed community and the classrooms showed that…todays NYTimes today had an article about the
              school being mostly white and Asian, neighborhoods change
              with time. My graduating class was 50% african american and
              Hispanic american and 50% caucasin american, one Asia american. The battle between the parents and the Board rd of Education in this time seems Un- American!

    29. 13% to 25%? says:

      Question: If these desirable MS already have “between 50% and 87% offers to 3s and 4s” than how is putting the number at 25% inclusion dramatically changing the make up of these 5 schools. the biggest change would be from 13% up to 25% with some of these schools remaining totally unchanged.

      Research suggests an answer:

      I would suggest those with anxiety read this article.

      Also, isn’t it ironic that people are angry that they are being stereotyped as whiny wealthy white parents (and racist) when those same individuals are lumping low achieving students as a bunch of disruptive hooligans who will only detract from their child’s education?

      What if these 1s and 2s are great artists and musicians? What if they are kind souls and future friends? Is really having 25% of your grade rather than 13% actually harming your child’s education? All the research says no. I challenge anyone to bring forth research that indicates this minor type change has a significant impact on the quality of individual’s education

      • former UWS parent says:

        Thank you for this reasoned response. And you are straight on that “What if these 1s and 2s are great artists and musicians?” When I realized that my 2-performing child was going to be treated by the DOE AND other parents as a moron and shoved into a closet we moved. She plays 3 instruments, is in debate club, etc and is an A student at a public school outside NYC that does not dehumanize innocent children in this way. These parents are disgraceful as is the DOE for creating this horrible system. Parents of these 1s and 2s should demand 50% representation, not 25%!

      • UWSParent says:

        Because when academically advanced kids are jammed in with academically weak kids all that happens is teaching to the lowest common denominator. The academically advanced kids get frustrated, bored, and cheated of an education while the class spends all its time on remedial drills.

    30. Molly Gordy says:

      As someone who sent two children to Upper West Side public schools, nine years apart, I can assure you this is not what it appears. Parents raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve the schools, then the DOE dumps the latest politically correct plan that is ill-thought out and gets rid of all the gifted and talented portions, triggering flight to the suburbs and private schools. I saw this happen at Manhattan School for Children, where they bused in kids from East New York who had loads of special needs and were exhausted from leaving at 6 a.m. and the teachers were not given adequate resources to deal with it. This problem was socio-economic, not racial. If anything it furthered racism as the influx of non-white kids were sleeping through class, creating a mass bad impression. They were literally laying on the floor, overwhelmed and exhausted. The teachers had no time for them or the other students. Then at PS 87 they tried to do the same thing and the parents said fine but we aren’t raising $100k a year for you anymore, and surprise! It was withdrawn. Meanwhile at the private West Side MOntessori they’ve done a fabulous job integrating kids on public assistance sent by ACS with kids on full tuition, and it is the most diverse school in the neighborhood — because the program is really well planned and directed and supported. So there IS a successful model out there, if DOE would only follow it instead of playing cheap politics.

      • Sarah says:

        “If anything it furthered racism as the influx of non-white kids were sleeping through class, creating a mass bad impression.”

        Oh, yes, the whole “they MADE me racist!” argument. For heaven’s sake. I do think this is the first time it’s been blamed on little black kids who happened to be sleepy in the mornings, though.

    31. OldTimerUWS says:

      The racist privilege is a highly-paid newcomer parachuting in and generalizing about a neighborhood he knows nothing about, a historically diverse and middle class neighborhood and one that didn’t always have the best schools until we got a higher level of parental involvement. But let’s not let anything distract from the narrative that everyone on the Upper West Side is a Wall Streeter who lives in 15 CPW or something, it’s not like he would stereotype or something.

      • dannyboy says:

        “a historically diverse and middle class neighborhood and one that didn’t always have the best schools until we got a higher level of parental involvement.”

        make that “a PREVIOUSLY diverse…”

        I am embarrassed by the young parents who are sending such a toxic message to ALL the children.

        • OldTimerUWS says:

          NYCHA used to be pretty diverse too, it is what it is.

          • dannyboy says:

            We agree then that these schools are no longer diverse as they once were.

            Some parents and politicians got a hold of them and won’t loosen their grip without a fight.

    32. Tom says:

      Tweet first, and don’t even bother to ask questions before… or after.

      Washington already has a Big Tweeter, and now thanks to our clueless Mayor, NYC has gotten stuck with a Little Tweeter.

      Doesn’t anybody at the DOE or City Hall care about making our schools better for all.

      This will not end well.

    33. Reed says:

      The Upper West Side public school is segregated and racist. Above the West 90s the educational system is desperately trying to keep up with children that are from shelters and low-income housing. The southern end of the Upper West Side is affluent and White and the northern end is impoverished, Black and Latino. The majority of low-income housing is intentionally placed above the 90s, thus placing an unfair burden on the local schools. This is a prime example of a segregated community and school system. I wonder what kind of reaction there would be if the families of the lower end of the Upper West had to send their children above West 100 Street?
      The unfortunate answer, as we all know, they would protest because they know that their children would receive an inferior education. Nobody wants an inferior education and we all want opportunity, but this is not the case for the families above the 90s.

    34. SHW says:

      Wow. New guy comes to town and immediately sticks his fingers in the eyes of countless parents. This approach does not solve problems, it only exacerbates bad feelings. As others have said, with such a foolish grandstanding and unproductive approach to such a serious issue, he won’t solve it and he won’t be in his position for long.

    35. Move to Scarsdale says:

      BUT!!!!!!! I just looked up the data. Scarsdale, a destination for wealthy families to give their kids top notch publication has…… 26% (both in 2016 and 2017) of students scoring 1s and 2s on the testing.

      Those poor kids education being destroyed!!!!!

      Can we start some kind of fund for them.

      Yes, that’s SCARSDALE’s data.

      Yet, parents on the UWS are freaking out that their school may be as BAD as the horror of Scarsdale.

    36. UWS parent says:

      I’m all for increasing diversity in middle schools, but disagree with the plan. Seems like a recipe for disaster to put underperforming kids in a school with high performing kids. To cope with this disparity in learning and ability, schools will likely separate the kids into different classes based on ability. This will likely lead to segregation within the schools. A better plan would be to reserve, say, 25% of spots to kids with free or reduced lunch. Economic diversity will likely lead to racial diversity without sacrificing the quality of students entering. Schools could still prioritize high performing kids. This is what a number of high schools started doing this year, and I think it’s a great idea.

    37. Confused says:

      How is this not a race to the bottom? I get that diversity is good and equal opportunity for everyone is good, but it sounds like this plan is saying everyone should only get the amount of education as the least able student. Is that not like saying everyone should only make as much money as the poorest, regardless of how hard you work (or how effective you are), or you should only be allowed to have the least number of children (e.g. 1) because it’s not fair that your family should take up 2 spots in a school when others only take up 1 spot?

      • dannyboy says:

        “but it sounds like this plan is saying everyone should only get the amount of education as the least able student.”

        I understand that you are Confused.

        This plan is saying everyone should get the amount of education as the most able student.

      • Tim says:

        Confused, you are absolutely correct. Social engineering has never worked. Conflating “desegregation” with the educational process is what’s going on.

    38. nycityny says:

      These comments never mention a statistic in the WSR article. This sentence:

      “And about 84% of the students who score 1 or 2 are black or Hispanic.”

      So when parents fight against having low-scoring students in classrooms with their kids they are de facto arguing to exclude mostly blacks and Hispanics. Some people interpret that as racism. Others deem it to be striving for what’s best for their children. You decide.

    39. UWS Craig says:

      I attended a public middle school where there were plenty of students that were below average and I turned out better than fine. It was helpful in building my self esteem to realize how lucky I am to be smarter than most other people. I think some of these complaining parents are not realizing the benefits that an intellectually diverse student body can provide.

    40. UWSdad says:

      In all of this discussion over whether this is a good plan or a bad plan, people seem to be missing one essential fact. THERE IS NO PLAN. I have been to many of these meetings and the DOE has not presented one detail or specific piece of information, other than to say they are discussing floors of 10% and 15%. Meeting after meeting, Ms. Berger, the CEC members and other parents have asked question after question, have requested data and information and nothing has been answered. It is now May and the superintendent has indicated the necessity to have the plan finalized this month…..this is why, among other reasons, parents are up in arms.

      The Computer School principal mentioned at the meeting held at PS 199 that he hadn’t even had time to think about and formulate his new admissions criteria that will need to be implemented to take into account both the district’s move to blind admissions in the middle school process and the 10/15% floors.

    41. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      Public schools are for the public, which includes tenants of the Amsterdam Houses. Parents can not pick and choose who attends school with their child.

    42. UWS parent says:

      As a parent in District 3 and also a person who has worked in organizational diversity and inclusion for the better part of 2 decades, his characterization of the racism of these conversations is pretty much on point. I’ve attended several CEC 3 meetings and consistently horrified by the thinly veiled racism of the supposedly progressive parents of district 3.

    43. Noah says:

      As a lifer on the UWS I can say that the area has gotten increasingly racist over my 32 years here. No one is burning crosses, it is way more subtle than that – but still racist.

      I love that the school system and some parents are attempting to address the systemic racism in the upper west side school district. I hope they succeed and give all kids an equitable chance at a bright future, not just the ones that can afford it.

      I will be at the next meeting.

      This article smacks of bias, trying to justify the racist parent’s actions and smear the new chancellor.

    44. ZoomZoom says:

      For shame.

    45. san francisco says:

      Hello from San Francisco.

      Just a friendly warning. You’ve got an authoritarian leader. Watch your math classes. He took away Algebra for all our 8th graders.

    46. brenda says:

      His tweet gained traction all over social media. People who know nothing of NYC, the UWS and the NYDOE believed the headline and read nothing more. He knew exactly what he was doing with that tweet.

      • dannyboy says:

        Now that the Mayor has come out for diversifying schools, I’d say the Chancellor has achieved what he wanted.

    47. Native UWSer says:

      I support this proposal and diversifying the middle schools, however there needs to be a plan in place for supporting the kids/schools in teaching to many different levels. Otherwise there is potential to do a disservice to all.

    48. Pass the Popcorn says:

      Progressives always eat their own. You UWS parents thought you were “woke” by wearing a pink hat and marching down the street with a silly sign (ironically in a march that was arranged and funded by the Russians!).

      Nope. Turns out you’re deplorable racists after all!

    49. MJ says:

      There is a population of families on the UWS that cannot afford private school and rely on public school for their kids. And they happen to be white. DO NOT lump us all together. Some of us are for diversity but find it unfair that this diversity plan will make it even harder for our own children to get into a school on our own block. Why can’t the underperforming schools fix their own problems instead of farming out their kids to out already crowded schools? Stop crying racism because we disagree with this plan. It’s not always about race.

    50. Mark Moore says:

      My kid is in Booker MS54 with a home room that’s been chose to be a forced “academically diverse” class and you know what? It’s hurt him academically. Never had behavior issues in school until this year. I couldn’t care less what race the kids are but “academic diversity” is hurting some good kids.

      • UWS parent says:

        My son is there as well. In the last couple years, the lower performing kids were separated out by classes and there was de facto segregation within the school. The principal tried to integrate the lower performing kids with the higher performing kids this year with mixed results, but I respect that she is trying. If the school is forced to take much lower performing kids, I’m sure the school will separate the kids out into separate classes again with de facto segregation within the school walls.

        • MJ says:

          Exactly. It’s a waste of time. And it puts pressure on kids. Underperforming kids have problems that putting them in a room of “good” kids won’t fix. They deserve more than this “diversity” plan.

        • Mark Moore says:

          At the beginning of the year we didn’t oppose it. But after eight months of personal observation of my kid, I do oppose it. Maybe it will help down the line, I don’t know.

    51. Lin says:

      This whole scenario re middle school will only lead to serious difficulties with the kids. Re parents: This was one parent who evidently has no business representing an entire community,
      None of the parents I know in the neighborhood are racist; however, they are very concerned about their children’s education. My guess is many will leave NYC. I think the Mayor needs to think this through. There are ways to integrate schools without alienating parents.

    52. Felicia says:

      With adults like these
      commenting on West Side Rag,
      what hope do kids have?

      A haiku

      • Basho says:

        Haiku NOT. Just a bitter sentence.

        Where is the “image, or a pair of images, meant to depict the essence of a specific moment in time”? (see:

        The essence of haiku is “cutting” (kiru). This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji (“cutting word”) between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related. (see:

        And where is the kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such terms?

        • Felicia says:

          In your example
          they use the key word “often”.
          Do you speak English?

          A haiku

          • Basho says:

            Just to aide you in reading before you reply, I will repeat what I wrote:

            Where is the “image, or a pair of images, meant to depict the essence of a specific moment in time”? (see:

            And where is the kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such terms?

            Now, I have answered all questions except my English language skill. I learned the English language in Japan. Would you prefer haiku in Japanese?

            In any culture it is preferred to discuss the host’s topic. But we are now talking about you only. So there’s that.

            • Felicia says:

              Read your citation.
              You omit relevant parts.
              Don’t just cherry pick.

              A haiku

          • dannyboy says:

            We are trying to have a much-needed discussion on an important matter in our neighborhood.

            Can you please stop asking commentators whether they speak English, it is just too self-involved of you.

            • Felicia says:

              If this bothers you,
              why do you respond to me?
              You are not my type.

              A haiku

            • dannyboy says:

              Felicia, I reply to your insults to point out just how ugly they are. Of course ugly is not my type, so no worries.

              And your ugly trolling.

            • Felicia says:

              You would be so sad
              if I stopped posting haiku.
              Admit you love me.

              A haiku

    53. Wendy says:

      Hello again. Remember when N.Y.C. was NOT a sanctuary city ! WHEN the SPANISH language was not forced = to, &, even above our ENGLISH LANGUAGE ? When few folk cussed in public ? n.b. Skippack school by Marguerite de Angeli. PHOTOS of some classes, @ !916 ?, WHEN penmanship, deportment were taught ? in a shop window. Some well-to-do Caucasians have harmed me. n.b. @ 6 BOOKS & MOVIES @ teachers, in our ENGLISH language.

      • Felicia says:

        One who makes demands
        that others speak English should
        speak English as well.

    54. MS pograms says:

      Not only are these parents clearly not racist, but I believe they are not going far enough in their demands.

      I believe the parents in these top middle schools should form committees where they identify and expel any student whom they deem harmful for their child’s education at their school. They have the right for what’s best at THEIR school. Let the undesirables worry about their own schools. So what if they are PUBLIC. Clearly if your child is a good test taker, then the top schools are your entitlement.

      So what if the TOP MS in NY state all have successfully operated with academic diversity at levels between 25 – 35 %. Those are the TOP MS in the state. YOUR child is entitled to better. Let 1s and 2s worry about their own MS problems.

      And you are definitely NOT racist if you indicate that if minority children and parents just acted more like you (Caucasian), then you wouldn’t have a problem.

    55. PLamar says:

      How ironic…..Yankees don’t want to be integrated!!!

    56. Mike says:

      I thought all the rich white parents send their kids to private school. Guess they should start increasing the tuition once this plan gets enacted.

      • Mike says:

        If this type of plan gets enacted where I live then I for one would not send my kids to that school. These parents are just looking out for the best interest of their children and I can understand their fear of not knowing what their kids will be exposed to in their most crucial formative years.

        I’ve volunteered with some of the underrepresented children at the public schools and what some of those children have told me that they’ve experienced even in elementary school send chills down my spine.

        • dannyboy says:

          I hear your “fear of not knowing what [your] kids will be exposed to in their most crucial formative years.”

          But you must know these are PUBLIC Schools.

          Perhaps you can volunteer again with some of the underrepresented children at these public schools.

    57. Independent says:

      Always amusing to watch these perennial internecine battles break-out among Goodthinkers.

      “Diversity for thee but not for me!”

      How is contrived, forced integration any better than forced segregation? Aren’t both antithetical to the freedom of association that a free society would demand?

      • dannyboy says:

        Are you suggesting a political philosophy debate as the solution to our neighborhood problem?