Disturbing Statements Made By Man Outside PS 199 Draw Extra Police Presence

Extra police officers have been posted around elementary school PS 199 on West 70th Street after a man was heard making disturbing statements outside the school on Tuesday.

The man’s statements appear to be related to a controversy over a plan to change admissions criteria at 16 Upper West Side and West Harlem middle schools. Parents spoke out against the plan at a meeting at PS 199 last month — a video of their comments has caused controversy, with new Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza tweeting out a headline that characterized the parents as being opposed to bringing “black kids to their schools.”

Around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a man who appeared to be emotionally disturbed stood outside PS 199 and made some “disturbing” remarks, said Captain Timothy Malin of the 20th precinct. Malin says the man said something akin to “They don’t let black kids in this school.” He then walked away, and at no point entered school property, Malin said.

About 20 minutes later he returned and again stood outside on the sidewalk and said another troubling statement akin to, “They should kill all the white kids in this school.” He then left again. The man was described as African-American, about 50 years old, demonstrating signs of mental illness, Malin said.

Malin is careful to note that these quotes are third-hand information. He does not know if the statements were made in front of a teacher, parent or other staffer. Authorities were called.

Uniformed School Safety Task Force officers were deployed and are stationed at PS199 for the rest of the week, he said. “We don’t take chances,” Malin says. “Any kind of disturbance like this around a school, we deploy as an extra precaution.”

But he emphasizes, “There is no credible threat against the school whatsoever.” And as of now, “We are not treating it as a hate crime.”

Principal Louise Xerri sent a letter to parents on Wednesday announcing that there would be extra officers around the school “due to the recent publicity in the media regarding our community.” The letter was first obtained by the Daily News. “NYPD will continue to pay special attention to our school and be vigilant to ensure our safety out of an abundance of caution.”

West Side Rag contacted Xerri’s office about the comments on Thursday afternoon but did not immediately hear back. Principals generally refer media to Department of Education headquarters for comments.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the NYPD is providing the school with additional supports, and will continue to monitor the surrounding area,” wrote Department of Education spokesperson Miranda Barbot in an email. “An incident outside of the school was investigated and addressed and there is no direct threat against the school.”

Bardot did not release any further information on the incident, or confirm that it was in fact related to the controversy over middle school admissions.

Joy Bergmann contributed reporting to this story.

NEWS, SCHOOLS | 77 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      I hope Carranza is happy. Instead of holding up PS 199 as a model of success that other schools should emulate he attacked the PS 199 community as being rich and racist and he inflamed tensions on the UWS

      Carranza should be fired by DeBlasio.

      Why aren’t our wonderful leaders – Brewer, Hoylman, the Rosenthal twins – speaking out against this man?

      Why isn’t Cynthia Nixon – who’s allegedly so concerned about public school success – condemning him?

      • Peter says:

        They won’t condemn him because they agree that as a basic premise our schools are segregated.

        That does not excuse their silence over his irresponsible, middle of the night tweet and his lack of a meaningful apology.

        I certainly hope this is an isolated incident and nothing more comes of it.

        • Brandon says:

          It is true our schools are segregated. This doesn’t mean there aren’t valid.nom-racist worries that parents have about the new proposal. If 25% of seats in the high performing schools are set aside for kids under grade level where will the kids who would have taken these seats and up? In the very schools that we are saying don’t adequately educate kids. There has been no mention of how that will be addressed.

          • UWS parent says:

            They will be educated in Westchester when their parents move there.

            These actions are pure window dressing. Improve all the schools instead of conceding failure on most of them.

          • dannyboy says:

            The parents of the children who can not be accommodated “in the high performing schools” can start by working on improving the schools in the neighborhood that their children will be attending.

            See how well community works?

            • UWS Dad says:

              Dannyboy – I think that is easier said than actually done.

              If you look at the DOE stats, there are some really “underperforming” middle schools in our district and the general public knows this fact.
              What I struggle with is how will the inclusion of 2 or 3 students who scored a 3 or 4 on state tests (some of the DOE models show this few a number of students being placed in a school) change the direction of a school in both the short and long term (and you would have to assume these “displaced” children would attend these schools).

              What I think (for what it’s worth) should be done is for the DOE to select 1 or 2 target schools that are on the cusp of turning the corner. Take all of the “displaced” students who scored 3/4 and place them at these schools for a 3 year period. First, you are more likely to get parents to agree to go if you are talking about 40 or more students (rather than 1 or 2). Second, you can quickly pull up the performance and reputation of the school such that parents will apply. Third, some of these parents may be willing to donate time and dollars to these schools at a time when these items are crucial. If the plan works, then after 3 years you can move on to the next group of schools. I know this is going to take time…

            • Sherman says:

              Hi dannyboy

              I guess this is why you made sure your daughter attended an elite high school without any “low performing students” (or whichever bureaucratic euphemism you choose).

              See how lefty hypocrisy works?


            • Effy says:

              Maybe they already have jobs that helps pay taxes to educate our kids. Not to mention how their work pays to educate kids whose parents entered the country illegally. Not that their own kids would be educated for free if they decided to move to Costa Rica or Argentina or Mexico or Guatemala or….. countries that are openly biased against blacks, by the way.

              See how community tax payers work?

            • dannyboy says:


              Can you stop lying? Repeating the same lie, after being informed each time, and without any idea of where it came from, is just being antagonistic.

    2. UWS-er says:

      Maybe, just maybe, it’s not the most responsible thing in the world for the chancellor to label parents opposed to his plan as racists.

    3. Jose Habib says:

      Thanks, Carranza!

    4. Leon says:

      Chancellor Can’t-Stand-Ya is proving that people on both sides of the aisle can irresponsibly use inflammatory language.

      As someone who is a lifelong liberal Democrat, I am really offended by people like the Chancellor lowering himself to this point and making us laughing stocks to the rest of the country – the rest of America thinks we are all ridiculous, which is why Trump got elected.

      • Allistar says:

        And will be elected again! White people matter too!

        • uwsperson says:

          Get yourself educated about white privilege and you won’t make comments like this. And, by the way, I am white and politically right of center. But I know racist statements when I hear them.

        • Independent says:

          White people matter too!

          It’s okay to be white— even heterosexual, male, Christian, traditionalist and white!

          I say that as a Jew– one ashamed and even horrified by the amount of hostility toward those who check the above categories that I have been seeing from far too many Jews. That is no way to repay the unprecedented kindness and tolerance that a mostly white and Christian United States of America has shown us.

          • EricaC says:

            George Washington himself acknowledged that Jews are not treated well out of tolerance, but because they have the right to be respected in their exercise of their own religion.

            Not religious, not hostile towards Christians – but offended at the notion that I should be grateful that my right to live in peace is an act of kindness by the Christian majority.

      • Kitty H says:

        Just to stay informed I look at a variety of Right wing sites, and all the ones I’ve visited have pounced upon this story with glee, using it to illustrate what they like to call Liberal hypocrasy. It’s most unfortunate this situation has been brought to this point by the chancellor’s remarks.

    5. Opinionated says:

      Two mentally disturbed individuals at P.S. 199 in less than 2 weeks. First Carranza, and now this.

      He should try asking Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Stanford to reserve 25% of their spots for the students with the lowest SAT scores. So elitist those colleges…

      • UWS mom fed up w politicians says:

        Correct me if aim wrong be Carranza never actually attended the meeting at PS199 that evening hey we’re discussing middle school admissions policy which makes his tweet even more disturbing as he was sensationalizing a clip of a meeting HE NEVER ATTENDED. Smh…

      • Jan Ames says:

        Would there be another reason low score students are
        not readily accepted in these schools?
        Let’s look at that reason, other than color of skin, to
        see the truth.

        • Tim says:

          It’s easier to play the race card and call people racists, to try to shut up opponents to the moronic social engineering plan. There is NO law preventing ANYBODY from living on the UWS.

    6. ScooterStan says:

      Were PS199 a corporate site facing a possible threat such as this, few would doubt that the company would either:
      (a) IMMEDIATELY install surveillance Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras; and/or
      (b) IMMEDIATELY review and enhance its existing CCTV system.

      BUT this is ‘only one public school’, run by the DoE, for whom the word “IMMEDIATELY” is not in the dictionary.

      BEFORE any response to a verbal threat can happen, the DoE will probably:

      1) hold public meetings to deal with parent concerns about their children’s images being recorded, saved, and made available to ?????;

      2) hold more public meetings to guarantee that the local Tinfoil-Hat crowd does not object to being ‘surveilled’, as they have vigorously done about those new sidewalk Wi-Fi kiosks ;

      3) Put out a Request for Bids, a period of several weeks ;

      4) Reviewed the bids and selected a vendor, AFTER verifying that vendors are free of race-, gender-, age- ethnicity- sexual preference- and dietary- bias ;

      5) Repeated steps 1 – 4 should any offended-party file an objection to the way in which any of those steps had been implemented.

      And then-n-n-n it will probably be June 30th, the school-year will be over, and everything will be postponed to the new school year.

      So let us hope that the crackpot making those remarks is just a harmless looney with no plans beyond running his mouth.

    7. Stef Lev says:

      Let’s not forget how this has become such a hot issue. Our elected officials all have ignored issues of schools in District 3 for at least the past 2 decades. They may be in their current, newer, jobs now, but they had all been in other positions related to the area and did not act to improve or add new schools until there was a crisis. It’s easier to blame it on others.

      • Cynthia says:

        Or even easier…blame it on the educated parents who (gasp!) select the top performing schools for their children.

    8. Jess says:

      Richard Carranza should be fired for mis-characterizing the entire conversation in a public forum like Twitter. This is yet another result – not only are parents being harassed, but now uninformed, disturbed people are wandering around muttering about killing kids. What a debacle. GREAT JOB DOE.

    9. Walter says:

      Carranza should be ashamed of himself- his tweet was divisive, his follow up missed the point completely. Very unimpressive start to his tenure here in NYC. Cant imagine this dope has his job for long!

    10. RWC says:

      Schools are segregated on the upper West side.
      The new chancellor is not pussyfooting around the issue, and he’s not a politician who has to protect white liberal base.

      Anyone who says the schools are not segregated are very misinformed, in denial or they’ve never sent their kid to school here.

      In the 1990’s I could not find a school on the upper West side that was integrated all of them segregated as they still are, children of color or all white kids.

      I chose to send my daughter to Central Park East school in East Harlem because they were integrated economically and racially .

      Then she attended the Computer school 95% white kids which absolutely does not reflect the population on the upper West side .

      Stand by the school yard and look at the skin color of the kids in upper West side schools. They should be racially and economically integrated just like the neighborhood.

      The UWS is not all “wealthy white people” as some claim (people who say that don’t know the neighborhood.)
      We are fortunate to have Mitchell Lama buildings and public housing throughout the UWS filled with white and brown skinned children and they should be sharing all Schools K through high school .

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        hurrah RWC!!

        the facts that the CHanbcellor is making a good point (although not initially in the best way), that the majority of parents apparently support this moderate plan, and that at least some PS 199 parents and WRS commenters are embarrassingly over-reacting have all been lost.

        • Sherman says:

          Hi Bruce

          “The majority of parents support this moderate plan”.

          I guess you know this because you took a survey.

          For starters, the plan is not “moderate”.

          Furthermore, I’ve never met a PS 199 parent who is in favor of forcibly changing the demographics of the school. Despite all their professed UWS liberalism and progressivism every parent I’ve spoken to is dead set against it and vowing to move to Westchester if the school changes.


          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            @Sherman said:

            “I’ve never met a PS 199 parent who is in favor of forcibly changing the demographics of the school. Despite all their professed UWS liberalism and progressivism every parent I’ve spoken to is dead set against it and vowing to move to Westchester if the school changes.”

            Well, i’m glad that you ADMITTED what this is about — “demographic changes.” Not changes in student performance.

            Nothing is being “forced”, any more than the current demographics of the schools are “forced.” the selection algorithm is being tweaked.

            Simulations run by the DOE show that the percentage of students admitted to one of their top three schools would remain the same:


            It’s interesting that you only speak to parents who are against the plan, when District 3 parents council supports it, and many articles have quoted parents who are in support.

            They are moving to Westchester because there would be a few more Black and Hispanic kids in their classes? This is classic “white flight.”

            I think that is a gross exaggeration, but if it is true for a few of these nervous parents — i saw good riddance! And yes, you can’t deny there is racism involved in this sort of action and rhetoric.

            • Sherman says:

              Hi Bruce

              Before you start lashing out at everyone for being “racist” maybe you can tell everyone how many families of these “low performing students” live in your building.

              People in glass houses…..


            • Independent says:

              Mr. Bernstein, in light of so many of your comments that I’ve read here at WSR, I’ve often wanted to ask you: Have you ever considered moving to an overwhelmingly non-white, non-Asian neighborhood? Wouldn’t that, through leading by example, be an incredibly powerful way to counter the “white flight” you referred-to? A way to help integrate and diversify such a segregated area, thereby fighting the “racism” that you routinely condemn?

              Maybe you could even make an arrangement to trade places with one or more persons-of-color, thereby allowing them to benefit from your “white privilege”.

              As long as you continue to scold and condemn others for what you characterize as ‘racism’ and to decry what you characterize as ‘segregation’, the questions I have posed to you above will remain valid.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              What @Sherman and @Indy do above is a familiar tactic in this discussion of desegregation from the “pro-segregation” side: attack those on the UWS who support desegregation of schools as personally hypocritical. I guess they are ashamed of their position and can’t really defend it… so they say, “look at the liberals! they are not REALLY for desegregation.”

              First of all, neither Sherman nor Indy know anything about my life: who my family and friends are, who my neighbors are, who i associate with. And their personally directed attacks are outside of the commenting criteria of WSR, which includes:

              “Do not post threatening or harassing comments, or libelous material. Do not use the comments section to attack another person or organization. Maintain a civil tone.”


              It is hard to “maintain a civil tone” when responding to what @Sherm and @Indy said above, but i’ll try.

              Sherm said:

              ” …maybe you can tell everyone how many families of these “low performing students” live in your building.”

              I’m supposed to know how every 4th grader in my building scored on the state test? This is ludicrous on the face of it.

              But in fact, it’s quite clear that this is a racial remark. Sherman is accusing me of living in a de facto segregated building. And thus i am not allowed to speak on school integration.

              In fact, when i moved into my building, when it was 100% rent stabilized, there were many Black and Hispanic residents. (there have never been many large families, as the vast majority of units are studios and one bedrooms.) But as the gentrification of the UWS has proceeded over the years, the vast majority of the new condo buyers have been white or Asian.

              of course, the growing segregation is a loss for all of us.

              @Indy argues:

              “Have you ever considered moving to an overwhelmingly non-white, non-Asian neighborhood? Wouldn’t that, through leading by example, be an incredibly powerful way to counter the “white flight” you referred-to? A way to help integrate and diversify such a segregated area, thereby fighting the “racism” that you routinely condemn?”

              Indy seems quite convinced that no white person in their right mind would live or work in a Black or Hispanic neighborhood. And thus, that proves that all the UWSers who support desegregation of schools just have to be hypocrites.

              All i can say is, perhaps you are projecting your own views on me, my friend. And i am someone whose life you know nothing about, so please refrain from commenting on it.

          • dannyboy says:

            “every parent I’ve spoken to is dead set against it and vowing to move to Westchester if the school changes.


            I suspect that someone is having trouble telling the truth.


          • Tim says:

            Sherm, you’re right- every parent I’ve talked with has seriously conveyed their consideration of moving to Westchester or Riverdale, etc if this moronic plan of social engineering is implemented. People say the UWS is segregated; somebody needs to show me the law that says Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, etc. are not allowed to live here.

            • dannyboy says:

              ” People say the UWS is segregated; somebody needs to show me the law that says Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, etc. are not allowed to live here.”

              Tim, this is not what people are planning to change. It is the population of the school that needs changing. People are allowed to live here, but the school does not have the neighborhood population. Your neighbors.

      • Jose Habib says:

        But when it comes to it, nobody actually wants this. You can keep moving people around, doing this and that, more and more social engineering, and yet people will still self-segregate. People don’t like being a minority given the choice, and they will move out of NYC if they need to.

        • dannyboy says:

          “But when it comes to it, nobody actually wants this.” – Jose Habib

          This is a blatantly false statement. There are even Comments above yours that do “want this”.

          Sounds like YOU don’t “want this”.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          in response to @Jose Habib, who said:

          “But when it comes to it, nobody actually wants this.”

          Actually, the parents council for the District 3 has voted in favor of it, it received little opposition at other District 3 schools, and the Daily News recently quoted a PS 199 parent as saying that the majority of the school’s parents support the plan.

          Jose said:

          “You can keep moving people around, doing this and that, more and more social engineering, and yet people will still self-segregate. People don’t like being a minority given the choice, and they will move out of NYC if they need to.”

          You are advocating and threatening white flight. Most progressive parents want their children in racially and ethnically diverse schools.

          And i’m not in favor of throwing the charge of “racism” around willy-nilly, but these statements by you are clearly racist — classically so.

          • UWS Dad says:

            Bruce – I generally am fine with the comments you have posted, but have to take exception with one point.

            The parents council for district 3 (community education council district 3) has NOT voted in favor of this idea. I’m not saying that the members aren’t in favor of it, but there has been no vote. In fact, CEC3 does not get to vote on this at all. If the district superintendent and the DOE want this plan all they have to do is put it in place.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              thanks @UWSDad. i stand corrected.

              I never meant to say that the District 3 CEC HAD TO vote for it for it to get implemented.

              My understanding is that large numbers of parents, including on the parents Council, are in support of the plan or something like it. they want to see the schools desegregated. they are not in league with the over-reaction… which we can see on these pages.

          • Jose Habib says:

            Lol, I don’t think scare words like “white flight” still work on people in the 2010s. We’ll see what happens.

            • Tim says:

              Jose, you are 100% correct. The possibility of “white flight” (actually educated, professional flight is more accurate) is real. Parents tend to live where there are good schools. If you tell them there is a 25% chance that their child will be required to attend a lesser school further away for the sake of “diversification”, you can bet your bottom dollar families will be moving to where idiotic social engineering programs are NOT being implemented.

      • Carlos says:

        In 99% of America, kids go to their neighborhood school. So if the parents choose to live in an all white neighborhood, their kids will go to an all white school. And if they live in an all black neighborhood, they will go to an all black school. Having a school full of kids from the immediate neighborhood helps build community pride in a school.

        So perhaps rather than advocating for shipping kids all over the place to force feed diversity, we should make a greater effort to improve the weaker schools. Early childhood education is a start – as I have noted before, I don’t particularly like the Mayor, but universal pre-k is an excellent idea.

        All that being said, whoever says that UWS schools are “segregated” has not looked at the stats. At PS9 21% of the students are in poverty, 18% Hispanic, 5% black, 9% multiple races, with parents who immigrated from countless countries. Booker T, the crown jewel of middle schools, is 9% black, 15% Hispanic and 24% poverty. Computer School is 12% black, 28% hispanic and 27% poverty. Compared to NYC as a whole, these stats are not that diverse, but compared to America, they are pretty impressive. So please do your research. Here is the data:


        • dannyboy says:

          “Compared to NYC as a whole, these stats are not that diverse” Carlos

          Compared to the neighborhood in which these schools are located, these stats aren’t representative. That’s the problem.

          • Carlos says:

            That is due to the arbitrary drawing of district lines. If the northern cutoff was 96 or even 110, the stats would look a lot different. Lies, darn lies and statistics.

            As others have noted, we live in a super liberal echo chamber here. We need to consider how we stand vs the rest of America, not just vs NYC. We waste a lot of time, energy and money trying to prove we can be the most progressive city (or better yet, neighborhood) on earth rather than using our energy and brains nationally. We are wasting time fighting liberal vs super liberal while most of us agree Trump is destroying our country for decades to come.

            • dannyboy says:

              “That is due to the arbitrary drawing of district lines. If the northern cutoff was 96 or even 110, the stats would look a lot different.” – Carlos

              Perhaps “the stats would look a lot different” and we’d have a healthy, diversified school, but we don’t have that, thus the plan.

    11. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      once again, a grossly irresponsible headline and lede from the WSR on this issue.

      What actually happened here? well, “third hand” — someone told someone told someone else, who told the police or Principal — it is reported that maybe a mentally troubled man made some crazy statements. (wow… that’s never happened before.) the DOE says there is “no direct threat”; the 20th Precinct says “there is no credible threat against the school whatsoever.”

      The Daily News did not report the content of the alleged incident, perhaps because they couldn’t confirm it.

      Do you have ANYONE who saw what happened?

      this is not journalism.

      How about actually reporting on the desegregation plan, which, as Chancellor Carranza said, is actually quite moderate.

      • ZoomZoom says:

        Except that the man said to kill all the white students.

        In today’s climate – this needs to be addressed with out most caution.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          response to @ZoomZOOm, who said:

          “Except that the man said to kill all the white students.”

          IF anyone actually said that. the only report in WSR is Capt Malin, who emphasized that he did not receive any direct report of the statement — “third hand.”

          i’m fine with increased security at a school, if only as a precaution. I am not fine with sloppy reporting.

          • UWS_lifer says:

            This sounds like it may come as a surprise to you but the world is not required to live up to your standards or demands, Bruce.

            Your entitlement and lack of self awareness isn’t helping anything or anybody.

            Kudos to Westside Rag for their reporting. And to those who think the world revolves around them….this is not a bulletin board for your Homeowner’s Association. You are lucky to be able to read it (and even participate) for free.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              response to @UWSLifer:

              uncorroborated rumors shouldn’t be reported as fact, and inflammatory uncorroborated rumors probably should be reported at all.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              typo in my last: i meant to say “… and inflammatory uncorroborated rumors probably SHOULDN’T be reported at all.”

      • UWS Dad says:

        Bruce – I am not going to comment on whether or not we view this as a “threat” against the school. Clearly, there is enough of a concern to the DOE and NYPD to place extra police officers at the school.

        But, I do want to ask a serious question of you or anyone on this board. Can someone please explain the DOE’s actual plan to me. And I don’t mean to simply state that 25% of the seats in the 6th grade at the highest performing schools will be set aside for students who average a 1 or a 2 on the state tests.

        I have been many of the CEC meetings on this topic and the DOE has yet to present an “official plan.”

        For some examples:
        1. Each middle school has to adopt their admissions policy to accommodate these changes. I say changes because District 3 middle school admissions is also moving to a blind admission process rather than the current revealed ranking. When are parents and district leaders going to see these admissions policies to?
        2. What is the plan for placing students who average a 3 or a 4 on the state tests and don’t get into their top choice schools?
        3. What is the plan to improve the perceived underperforming middle schools in our district (according to DOE #s only around 115 children will now have access to the perceived higher achieving middle schools). What is the DOE doing about those students who don’t get into these “top” schools?
        4. What extra funding will schools receive to make sure services (educational or support) are in place?
        5. What checks will be in place to ensure that the “top” middle schools don’t select only students who average a 1 or 2 and have an IEP (thus getting extra funding). This could have a negative impact on school selection for students with IEP’s that average a 3 or 4 on state tests.
        6. What happens to students who opt out of state testing?
        7. What assurances will there by at each school to make sure tracking and separate classes aren’t put in place to separate “high” and “low performers”

        The problem for many parents is that no details have come from the DOE. Unfortunately, rather than all parties focusing on coming up with a detail plan that works, the conversation has devolved into an “us against them” conversation. I’m sorry, but give the lack of detail, I don’t know how the chancellor can say this is a moderate plan…as far as I am concerned, at this moment there is no plan.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          @UWS Dad:

          i’m to some extent an outsider to this. I have children in public schools but they are in Queens. (and yes, they have both high performing and low performing kids in the same classes… and the school does very well, thank you.)

          but i have read up on this so perhaps i can answer SOME of your questions.

          i think overall you are right that the plan is still a work in progress, which they all admit — which does not mean there is “no plan.” the DOE was getting feedback. And it sounds like they got useful feedback until the over-reaction of SOME PS 199 parents.

          UWSDad asked:

          ” 2. What is the plan for placing students who average a 3 or a 4 on the state tests and don’t get into their top choice schools?”

          Simulations based on 2017 data showed that there was very little difference in how many students would get into one of their top 3 schools:


          UWSDad said:

          “4. What extra funding will schools receive to make sure services (educational or support) are in place?”

          Carranza addressed this in the Brian Lehrer interview. the specific q & a was posted on this blog.

          those are the answers i have easy access to right now. Chalkbeat also had this report:


          the best solution is for everyone to agree we NEED desegregation, and to work with the DOE to make sure it is the best possible plan. It IS a “moderate” plan, as per Chalkbeat it will affect a low number students.

          • UWS Dad says:

            Bruce – Thank you for the response and the civil way in which you responded. Unfortunately, this important conversation has really gotten bogged down and, in my opinion, sidetracked.

            In the spirit of good dialogue and debate, let me share my background. As my handle indicates, I am a father or multiple children enrolled in public elementary schools in the southern portion of district 3. I have a soon to be middle schooler who will be going through the “new” process so I am an interested party in the debate. In fact, I have been to almost all of the CEC meetings and middle school committee meetings, including the now infamous meeting at PS 199. I’ve obviously shared my concerns in my earlier post.

            In general, I think many parents look upon the DOE somewhat skeptically. While I appreciate what the chancellor has said about resources, I’ve also heard the district superintendent state that principals will have to make due with the budgets they have and may have to adjust resources depending upon student need — another way of saying no additional dollars will be provided because of this new MS plan. Also, with the announcement over the weekend that the 10%/15% test score floors will need to be modified to include economic factors, parents are left wondering what other last minute changes will there be.

            Second, I agree with you completely, that the overwhelming majority of children who average a 3/4 on state tests will place at one of their top 3 choices. However, this doesn’t necessarily make parents at ease. We can all debate whether or not the D3 rezoning from last year was good or bad, but I would say this. All of the students who were impacted by the rezoning were provided a reasonable alternative at the end of the day by the DOE. They could stay with the school they were enrolled with or move to their newly zoned school. In this middle school process, I don’t see a reasonable alternative for the students who don’t get into any of their top choices (I also don’t see how this plan will improve the perceived “underperforming” schools, but that should not stop this plan and is the subject of another day).

            To continued, civil and constructive debate.

      • Jason says:

        Don’t read it, or comment, we’d all appreciate that.

    12. STEPHEN says:

      I m confused. If he said kill all the black kids that is a hate crime but he says kill all the white kids it isn’t .

      • dannyboy says:

        A mentally ill person can make some crazy-sounding remarks. Let’s not get all race-baiting about that.

    13. Cristina says:

      I love how parents are mad about being called racist yet don’t see that their actions and comments are extremely racist. Being a woman of color and living 2 blocks away from PS199 I hear horrible comments.
      These parents love to think they are progressive and inclusive, I can say they are far from that. They will hire black and Hispanic to take care of their children or clean their homes but to ever be guest in their homes as friends – mostly never,
      If you don’t want to be a racist- change your behavior and your comments toward minorities.
      The only people who they will accept are those who are Spaniards or Argentinians, or are as light as they are.

    14. Max spier says:

      Going to ps199 as a kid I remember it being diverse. Now I walk by it and see all privileged white people. The parents of kids on the upper west side should be ashamed of themselves.

      • Independent says:

        Now I walk by it and see all privileged white people.

        How do you know that any of the white people you see are “privileged”, much less all of them? What makes them so?

    15. BillyNYC says:

      Don’t we have video cameras outside the school?? I have them installed up and down my block on W. 80th St. 24/7. I already have caught undesirables. Why can’t the school do the same?

    16. Jason says:

      If what the wealthy white PS199 parents are doing here was happening anywhere else in the country, the wealthy white PS199 parents would be crying racism. They would condemn actions taken in furtherance of excluding minority kids from their schools (which is exactly what they are trying to do, implicit explicit or any other way). But because it’s happening to THEM, they are saying Not In My BackYard. Shame.

      • Sherman says:

        Back in the 1960s many liberal white Northerners went to the South to protest segregation – which of course, was reprehensible.

        However, with all their protests against and condemnation of Southern racism they overlooked the irony that their supposedly liberal Northern cities and schools were arguably far more segregated than anything in the South.

        So yes, there was, and still is, terrible hypocrisy among supposedly liberal and progressive types.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          true liberals and progressives have fought for desegregation for decades, in the north AND the south.

          The people who are openly opposing UWS school desegregation on this blog are mostly not liberal and progressive commentators. they are mostly people who have proven to be conservatives, on the right, or in a few cases, even on the alt-right.

          Is there hypocrisy among some people who call themselves liberals (a minority of liberals) on this issue? Of course there is.

          but i find it even more hypocritical when people insist they would have been against desegregation in the 60s, but now it has all gone just too far — or something like that. all the tired arguments that are being made now against this very modest plan were made, in slightly altered form, decades ago.

          racial disparities not only continue to exist, in many ways they have gotten worse. And the opposition to such simple steps as the DOE is proposing shows we have a long way to go.

          and, in fact, a vast number of active parents in the district are working with the DOE to effect middle school desegregation in District 3. many of these people are true liberals. I suspect some are moderates and conservatives who are turned off and disgusted by segregated schools and racial disparities.

          As they used to say, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

    17. Rob G. says:

      Carranza and the other reckless boneheads at the DOE are responsible for this. Their race-baiting narritave has created a divisive and dangerous atmosphere for Upper West Side parents who wish nothing more than to give their children the best education they can. We need leaders who can actually fix our broken school system, not come up with ways to deflect their own inabilities to deal with it.

      • Effy says:

        To get things fixed, vote for someone like Trump. To get more of the same, vote for career politicians who fit some ridiculous dated idea of “cool” with regressive “progressive” soundbites and lifestyles. Everyone is racist, everyone is sexist so stop lying about that – see above regarding the Hispanic babysitters for UWS “liberals” happy to vote D but really worse than R’s.

        • Independent says:


          Not to dismiss your comments, which I am favorably inclined toward but I just have to ask: What is it really like being the personal secretary of Sam Spade? I hope he won’t be upset with you for reading WSR during work hours.

          Any chance you might even be able to get the legendary detective himself to take this case? I’ll bet he could get to the bottom of it.

          No, this association is not entirely out-of-the-blue. On his weekly Golden Age of Radio broadcast, the inimitable Max Schmid has been playing that famous radio creation of Dashiell Hamet.

          The Golden Age of Radio can be heard live, Sundays from 7:00 to 9:00 PM over WBAI, 99.5 FM. Archived programs are available at https://www.wbai.org/archive.php

    18. jc9beach says:

      How about investing money and resources into under performing schools rather than sending kids to “model” schools? It sets them up for defeat.

      • Sherman says:

        There already is plenty of money being invested in underperforming schools. It’s a myth that not enough money is being spent on them.

        (I will concede, however, that these schools don’t have the deep pocket of a PTA like PS 199)

        A few years ago Mark Zuckerberg donated $100M to the Newark School District. However well-intentioned this was it was money down the drain.

        A problem can rarely be solved by throwing money at it.

      • dannyboy says:

        “rather than sending kids to “model” schools? It sets them up for defeat.”

        False premise. Attending a better school results in a better education and subsequent success.

      • Phyllis S says:

        Parents made PS 199 a desirable school. Nothing can take the place of involved parents supporting their children& their public school.PS 199 parents volunteer & donate to the their school.That can be accomplished in ANY NEIGJBORHOOD. Kids should not have to travel outside of their neighborhood to get to school. Taxes in this cachement are high…. so why can’t these kids use the school? This has nothing to do with race. It’s just another reason to attack people for paying taxed& working hard.I eventually pulled my kids& home schooled. Can’t stomach our system.

    19. Former says:

      While I do agree that racism is a huge underlying problem in the UWS school selection process (not necessarily all of the parents but certainly the DOE process), there is another population of students that has been ignored in this dialogue that cuts across all racial and economic boundaries – kids that simply “do not test well” due to various learning issues that have nothing to do with IQ or actual abilities. There are PLENTY of kids out there with ADHD,ADD,Dyslexia, etc who simply do not perform well on standardized tests, and without that benchmark, end up in the worst performing schools. Combine that with the DOE’s mandate to withhold services to all but the most desperate, and you have a HUGE population of kids sinking to the bottom. That was our experience, and we had no choice but to move out of the city. We know MANY parents in this situation who sued the DOE for the wholly inadequate services offered children like this, forcing the DOE to pay for expensive private schools. I find that reprehensible on the part of the DOE. And yes, we are white and upper middle class . There are many who are not in a position to move, and their children are deserving of the SAME education being offered to students at top middle and high schools. Now, THAT’S discrimination under the ADA, pure and simple, and I’d love to see someone bring that lawsuit!

    20. Independent says:

      P.S. There is a critical difference between (a) harboring ill will toward people on account of their racial, ethnic, national or religious origins and (b) being realistic, honest and prudent about matters involving any of the aforementioned; noticing and acknowledging reality. The first, (a), is hateful, reprehensible and reprobate. The second, (b), is merely being a sentient, prudent adult. Those who cannot appreciate this distinction between (a) and (b) and who conflate and equate the two are the one with the problem. There is indeed, as a certain astute, dissident blogger* coined the phrase, a War on Noticing.

      (*He may use an iPhone and perhaps any number of other Apple products. But his name is not Steve Jobs. I don’t know whether or not he is a sailor…)

    21. Independent says:

      @ Bruce E. Bernstein (May 13, 2018 at 12:33 pm) :

      Your attempts to obfuscate and discredit it notwithstanding, my comment stands and speaks for itself. I based it solely and completely upon information that you have openly and explicitly revealed in numerous comments that you have posted here at WSR. Namely, (a) that you reside in a condo that you own here on the Upper West Side (the exact location of which you have specified and made reference-to in past posts) and (b) as I already noted, that you regularly and rather relentlessly scold and condemn others for what you characterize as ‘racism’, etc. and decry the evils of segregation, etc. For examples (of (b), at least), one need look no further than this very page.

      Thus, I had absolutely no need to rely upon any assumptions, speculation or insinuation and did not do so. Nor did I have any need for any additional information that, were I so inclined, I likely would have been able to easily acquire based on the fact that you choose to post under what apparently is your real, full name. That you do choose to do so*, however, makes your cries of foul! here all the more baseless and nothing short of preposterous.

      (*While scolding others for not doing likewise– others, except, it must be noted, those who enjoy your favor and approval.)

      Finally, please take note: Unless specified otherwise, any views and opinions I express anywhere at this site are my own and should not be assumed to be representative of any other individual or any group or faction thereof. The challenge that I had addressed to you as well as this rebuttal, I made completely independently of any comment made by Sherman or anyone else.