City Releases Middle School Integration Plan, Setting Aside Seats Based on Performance and Income

The city has released its middle school integration plan for District 3, which includes the Upper West Side and West Harlem. The plan will mandate that local middle schools accept students who score below proficient on state tests and who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

The plan has been contentious, to say the least. Parents have said that the Department of Education has done too little to improve middle schools so they can accommodate students with varying academic skills. In response, the DOE has pledged some new “academic intervention” training for teachers, as well as implicit bias training.

The full release is below:

Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced a districtwide plan to increase middle school diversity in District 3, which includes the Upper West Side and South Harlem. This is the first districtwide middle school diversity plan in New York City, and will prioritize 25 percent of seats for students from low-income families with lower academic performance in middle school admissions. The plan will go into effect for students entering 6th grade in 2019.

“Students benefit from integrated schools, and I applaud the District 3 community on taking this step to integrate their middle schools,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “I hope what we’re announcing in District 3 will be a model for other districts to integrate schools across the City, and I look forward to working with parents and educators as we implement this plan and strengthen middle schools across the district.”

The development of the District 3 middle school diversity plan has been driven by local parents and educators, including the District 3 Community Education Council and its Middle School Committee, District 3 Superintendent Ilene Altschul, and elementary and middle school principals. As part of its citywide school diversity plan, Equity & Excellence for All: Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the DOE is serving as a technical advisor and providing support to community school districts in the development of districtwide diversity plans – including District 3, District 1 in Manhattan, and District 15 in Brooklyn.

The District 3 middle school diversity plan prioritizes middle school seats for students who qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program (FRL) and who are lower-performing. An FRL-eligible student may be defined as lower-performing based:

  • 30 percent on final 4th grade ELA course grade
  • 30 percent on final 4th grade math course grade
  • 20 percent on NYS ELA test score
  • 20 percent on NYS math test score

Students who are FRL-eligible and lowest-performing based on the above weights are considered to be part of Group A, while students who are FRL-eligible and lower-performing are considered to be part of Group B.

This admissions scenario would give a priority at each District 3 middle school of:

  • 10 percent of seats to students in Group A
  • 15 percent of seats to students in Group B
  • The remaining 75 percent of seats are open to all students

Under this scenario, admissions methods would remain the same, meaning that school selection criteria would remain in place.

In response to community feedback, the superintendent and DOE have developed an implementation plan to support the admissions changes, including:

  • New middle school outreach efforts, including increasing middle school tours, ensuring all elementary school parent coordinators and guidance counselors visit all District 3 middle schools, and encouraging families to list at least five choices on their middle school applications.
  • New implicit bias for all District 3 middle school staff and culturally relevant education training for District 3 middle school teacher teams, leveraging the DOE’s new $23 million commitment to this work. The City aims to offer training to all DOE staff members by 2021-22.
  • New training for District 3 middle school staff in academic intervention strategies and ensuring that each student receives consistent support from one adult in each District 3 middle school.

Both the District 3 admissions changes and implementation plan will be continuously reviewed to ensure they are advancing the goals of diversity and equity in the district. Based on DOE projections, the admissions changes are expected to impact approximately 300 families in their first year.

“District 3 values diversity and equity across all of our schools, and I thank our CEC and educators for their efforts to put this plan into place,” said Superintendent Ilene Altschul. “I am excited to work closely with parents, school staff, and DOE central staff to implement this plan and to better serve middle-school students across our district.”

“The District 3 middle school diversity plan, including the move to blind ranking and a strong implementation plan, represents meaningful change for our schools,” said Kim Watkins, President of Community Education Council 3. “I thank Kristen Berger, my fellow CEC members, and parents and educators across the district for engaging in challenging conversations around equity and diversity over this past school year, and for participating in the complex work ahead of us. The announcement we’re making today is a result of community effort and empowerment, and it really drives home the fact that it takes a village for our public school system to work.”

“District 3 is demonstrating that we value equity as a community,” said Kristen Berger, 1st Vice President of Community Education Council 3 and Chair of its Middle School Committee. “This plan gives us an opportunity to increase access to, and awareness of, a wider range of middle schools for students across the district. It’s the result of a robust community conversation, and it includes the feedback and concerns of community members and educators. I look forward to working with the CEC, Superintendent Altschul, and our school leaders to make this plan a success for the kids and families of District 3.”

“A good school is not defined by the highest test scores, but by its capacity to help students learn. We’re all part of the same District 3 community, and this is an opportunity to embrace each other and our diversity. The bottom line is that we all have to work at diversity, and so I’m excited that all our schools – and our educators and families – are taking on this challenge and doing their part to do right by our kids,” said Marlon Lowe, principal of Mott Hall II.

“We live in a diverse City and a diverse world, but our kids won’t grow to understand and appreciate diversity if they’re not in a diverse climate. It’s troubling to see segregation in one of the most diverse school districts – and cities – in the nation, and it’s time to change the status quo. That’s why I support this effort to increase diversity across our District 3 middle schools – it’s going to help better educate our kids, and help move our district and our City forward,” said Carland Washington, principal of West Prep Academy.

“Diversity is an important learning tool that enhances our children’s educational experience, and this plan represents a real step towards creating greater diversity in middle schools across District 3,” said Henry Zymeck, principal of The Computer School. “This plan will lead to more District 3 middle schools that have the kind of diversity that benefits kids – and that parents are looking for. Ultimately, I believe this plan will result in more middle schools that are viewed as great choices for all of our kids.”

“This plan moves New York City’s schools in the right direction,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “Given its demographics, District 3 certainly has the potential to be a model for the rest of the City, but that will largely depend on implementation and community buy-in.”

“Every student deserves the opportunity to be challenged in an academically exceptional, diverse, and supportive learning environment. Because New York’s schools are some of the most segregated in the country, every student does not have access to the opportunity to go to a great school. Integrating D3 middle schools is but a first step toward achieving equity in education and greater diversity in schools. All children will benefit from more diverse school systems, and the steps we take today will help shape our children’s future and the future of this city for years to come. We must do more than tinker around the edges, and each and every school needs access to resources designed to meet their distinct needs and ensure their future success.

I am proud to support these efforts, and will continue to work with members and leaders of the school community to ensure that every student in my district, regardless of circumstance, has the opportunity to attend an exceptional public school in their community,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.

“The diversity plan is a positive step toward addressing the fundamental inequity created by the proliferation of screened schools,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “The many hoops a 10 year-old must jump through to attend middle school in our district have resulted in a segregated and inequitable public school system. I wholeheartedly support this new enrollment policy and look forward to continued discussion and progress to ensure our public schools provide equal opportunity for every child in our community.”

“This equity work by the DOE and Community School District 3 is an important first step in confronting the problem of segregation,” said David E. Kirkland, Executive Director of the NYU Metro Center. “To be clear, we owe a vital debt to the organizers and equity advocates who have petitioned for decades for fairer schooling and greater access to opportunities for our most vulnerable students. While no plan is perfect, I am pleased that the DOE and District 3 are beginning to heed the voices of the people. This sensitivity is developing into innovative solutions for a stronger implementation plan to support changes to admissions. It is leveraging new logics for controlling choice in ways that recognize that concentrations of vulnerability and privilege deeply comprise educational equity. I believe this work – as well as the work going on in Community School District 1 in Manhattan and Community School District 15 in Brooklyn – can prove to be a model for integration efforts across the City, and perhaps beyond it.”

Earlier this year, the City announced the first districtwide diversity plan in District 1 in Manhattan, and it has had encouraging results in its first year. A diversity working group in District 15 in Brooklyn is currently working on a districtwide plan to increase middle school diversity. This school year, there were 49 DOE schools and programs across the City participating in Diversity in Admissions pilots, which give priority in admissions to high-needs students.

The District 3 middle school diversity plan and these efforts align to the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, building on efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Equity & Excellence for All: Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan.

Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms are central to this pathway.

NEWS, SCHOOLS | 61 comments | permalink
    1. David says:

      “We live in a diverse City and a diverse world, but our kids won’t grow to understand and appreciate diversity if they’re not in a diverse climate.”

      Political correctness gone mad. The lunatics run the asylum!

      • West88 says:

        Do you think the type of elected officials who are separating families at our borders would have benefited from living amongst racially and socio economic diverse peers? Perhaps our anything but inclusive immigration policies could be less radical if those who are making our current laws in congress benefited from “a diverse climate” when growing up as to not see others in such non humane terms.

        The problems we are facing today begin with education. The only lunatics running the asylum are those who think diversity is a bad word.

        • Rodger Lodger says:

          You think Trump went to public schools? Look him up on Wiki.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          thank you West88. Very nicely said. All true.

        • KittyH says:

          Two points of agreement: diversity should be implemented, and our problems begin with education. There must be a way, though, to achieve the diverse experience without holding back the most academically able students within the group. It is important to keep the academic bar from being lowered in these schools which people find so desireable, for, if we can’t do that, everybody loses – again.

    2. Sherman says:

      Instead of insisting on hard work and academic excellence all these lefty bureaucrats are lowering standards and dumbing down the schools in the name of “diversity”.

      Pathetic.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        Sherman, your child’s school, PS 199, has 21% low performers on the state test. but somehow that hasn’t destroyed the school.

        and yet — 25% will destroy the middle schools?

        hogwash.

        this is a school desegregation plan, plain and simple. if you feel the UWS Middle Schools should be segregated by race, just say so, so we can have an honest argument.

        • Sherman says:

          Hi Bruce

          Before you lash out at me for allegedly being racist perhaps you should explain the demographic makeup of your building.

          You talk a big talk but you’re a sanctimonious hypocrite.

          People in glass houses….

          Sherm

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            Sherman apparently has no shame, making personal claims about people he doesn’t know. He has such confidence that we all think and act exactly like he does.

            My building was integrated when it was rent stabilized, with perhaps 25% Black and Hispanic residents. of the remaining 30-35% of units that are rent stabilized, that percentage probably still holds. This was like most of the UWS back when it was affordable, not so long ago.

            the up-scaling of my building into a high end condo has meant very few Black and Hispanic owners, that i know of. this is not surprising.

            btw, my wife is Latina and my two step-children are Latinos. not that this matter in the least, but perhaps you feel at least a little bit foolish.

            the fact is that you are opposing a modest desegregation plan, and in fact supporting continued segregation of the UWS middle schools. Let’s carry out the argument on those terms.

            • Sherman says:

              Hi Bruce

              By your own admission you’re saying your building is today almost exclusively white – whatever the alleged reason.

              Yet you lash out at me and everyone else as being “racist”.

              Enough said.

              As I previously wrote “people in glass houses…..”

              Sherm

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              Sherman, you are just trying to convince yourself that you are justified in opposing school desegregation on the UWS… because those who support it are “hypocrites.”

              the issue is school desegregation… not what building i live in.

        • Leon says:

          For the love of God, please stop making this a racial issue. I know numerous upper middle class minority families on the UWS with high performing kids in top public schools who got there on merit. And they want it to be known that their kids got into schools based on merit, not charity.

          I am a Democrat. I have never voted for anyone but a Democrat. But it is this sort of knee-jerk ultra-liberalism that is causing our country to be so divided and helping people like Trump rise to power. The rest of America is tired of listening to your irrational whining. Please step back and be a little pragmatic and be careful about your choice of words. And perhaps leave the UWS for a few minutes and see how the rest of the world works.

          • Jay says:

            Some people can only personally attack others rather than think and put forth a cogent response. It’s sad that the discourse level is so low.

          • Peter says:

            ” causing our country to be so divided and helping people like Trump rise to power.”

            I consider myself Exhibit A in that phenomenon. I’m a lifelong Democrat, a strong progressive on economic policy, and a bona fide Trump-hater. Over the last few weeks, I’ve lost all interest in reading about Trump’s misdeeds, and I intend to start voting Republican whenever I can. The identity politics are a cancer. No more.

            • @soapboxo says:

              Peter, it’s a bit weird to talk about ending northern de facto segregation as some sort of weird and extreme identity politics. Why not just read a few books instead? We’re all talking about nyc education, yet we rely on (often self-interested) intuitions that turn out to be wrong when we review them against decades of knowledge produced by scholars since Brown v Board.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            response to Leon:

            there are so many things wrong with what you said — factually wrong and logically wrong — packed into a few paragraphs, it is hard to know where to start.

            first of all, OF COURSE it is about race. It is a DESEGREGATION plan. Middle schools on the UWS are segregated by race, and thus by class. This is an educational disparity. This plan, a very very modest one, is designed to take some modest corrective steps.

            these are PUBLIC MIDDLE SCHOOLS. Since when is admission to all public middle schools done on “merit”? and your idea of “merit” is one test taken by fourth graders. Isn’t that a little bit ridiculous?

            Your idea that school desegregation is “knee jerk ultra liberalism” flies in the face of decades of efforts at desegregation. it is at the heart of the progressive program. Read some MLK, or look into what Thurgood Marshall had to say.

            as for your comment about “leave the UWS” to see how the rest of the world works: in the vast number of middle schools in NYC and the US, lower-performing and higher performing students sit side by side. it is not a problem. a teacher on this thread has commented on what a ludicrous idea this is.

        • Dnald Berrian says:

          It isn’t segregated by race. It is segregated by performance. If you don’t like that, why not just get rid of the exams and admit students at random. What is the point of having special secondary schools?

      • Pjay says:

        Thank you.

    3. Rob G. says:

      “Increasing diversity” as a panacea to fix our broken school system is among the stupidest and most destructive plans Upper West Siders have ever had to contend with. But I guess it’s a lot easier for our leadership to play the race card instead of actually tending to the underperforming schools that need help. Nice work, everyone.

      • Carlos says:

        Exactly. There are failing schools all over NYC. And the problem starts at the elementary school level, or actually even before that. But rather than target time, effort and money towards the real problem, they are tinkering with something that actually works for a lot of kids.

        On the UWS, a good percentage of the students are getting an excellent education, and even those who are getting a much worse education are still getting a far better education than the students in many other parts of the city. Why not experiment with some of those areas, where the only way to go is up?

        And focus on early childhood education, not middle schools. By the time these kids have gotten to middle school, many of them are already so far behind that it will be impossible for them to catch up. How about saving a few seats in each G&T class for poor kids from areas that usually don’t feed into G&T and see how they do? I bet some of them will thrive and end up legitimately getting into top middle schools, which is a more natural way to achieve the same goal.

    4. Scott says:

      It’s about time. Now all the liberals can eat the food they’ve spent decades preparing.

    5. ANONYMOUS says:

      “A good school is not defined by the highest test scores
      NOT TRUE

      NO MENTION OF GIFTED STUDENTS IN THIS SCHEME
      WHERE WILL OUR ROCKET SCIENTISTS AND MENTORS OF THE FUTURE COME FROM?

      • Laura says:

        Probably a student who was previously given less opportunity at a less affluent school. That student will excel and become the rocket scientist (which, full disclosure, I don’t think that exists as a job title) you lament will go missing.

    6. F. Ames says:

      I worry that if they are scholastically “behind” they will
      find it hard to keep up. Nothing worse than getting in a
      class too advanced for your present skill. You don’t get
      anything out of it, and you are miserable.

    7. Karen says:

      Why is “city” capitalized in these educators’ and elected officials’ comments?

      • Cato says:

        — “Why is “city” capitalized in these educators’ and elected officials’ comments?”

        Because, when they refer to “the City”, they are referring to one particular city, New York City. Of course “New York City” is capitalized because it is a “proper” noun — you would not write “New York city”.

        The officials are not distinguishing between “city” and “rural” schools. Nor are they talking about what it’s like to live in “a city”. They are talking about one specific city, New York City, using the shorthand proper noun, “the City”.

      • Mark Moore says:

        What school did you go to?

    8. Frank says:

      We won’t be happy until everything reaches the lowest common denominator. Initiatives like this might make you feel nice inside but you’re doing a disservice to all the students and society in general.

      Students that are drastically under performing won’t suddenly begin excelling because they’re around other high performing kids. They’re going to know they don’t belong and (wrongly) expose them to a sense of self stupidity and hopelessness. They are so far behind the solution is not to put them in an environment they are guaranteed to be at the bottom of but to get them special help at their remedial level. Especially at the middle school level – it’s too late by then.

      It would make far more sense to make more seats available to kids from poor families that had qualifying scores. This is true equity where someone who is special but comes from a disadvantaged home gets a real opportunity to shine. I’m all for policy that helps those from poor backgrounds but are you helping or hurting by putting kids that are under performing into an environment like this?

      Is the next step to simplify the curriculum? Chip away at advanced courses and replace them with special needs courses?

    9. Joey says:

      This’ll improve the schools

    10. Curious observer says:

      Shouldn’t a diversity plan begin with elemtary schools? They feed the middle schools

    11. Rhys Ulerich says:

      Poorly performing but economically better-off students are excluded?! This is not an impartial leg up for lower performers. This penalizes some less intelligent/prepared kids solely because their parents are successful. What rot.

      If you want economic diversity, only use free lunch criteria and reserve seats based on fraction of overall students in the district qualifying for free lunch. Then you get the better performing kids into the same schools in both lunch categories.

      • Kait says:

        Students with economically well off parents but mediocre academics have a partial, clear leg up in society because they come from households that have not been historically economically depressed and are likely unencumbered by daily encountered racism and bias.

        Those kids will be fine and successful. You’ll make sure they are.

        Studies show that underprivileged students with lower scores do well when in an elevated academic environment. Give them the opportunity, and they rise to the occasion.
        Studies show integration is a good thing, for all students.

        • Rhys Ulerich says:

          Generally, students with lower scores of all economic backgrounds do well when in an elevated academic environment.

        • Joey says:

          Which studies? Where can I source them?

        • JerryV says:

          Kait, I would like to believe your statement, “Studies show that underprivileged students with lower scores do well when in an elevated academic environment.” Could you please cite these studies?

        • Frank says:

          It depends which “studies” you want to cherry pick. This is the same, or similar, debate as the grouping debate from the 1980’s and 1990’s. One side saying that it makes sense to group kids of similar ability together and the other side saying that leads to marginalizing kids from poor families or of minority racial makeup.

          There are studies that say any benefit is “far outweighed” by the risks. There are other studies that say the remedial kids get frustrated and act out and others that say the advanced kids get bored and act out. The point is there are “studies” that say whatever the people funding them want to believe.

          But grouping has come back over the years as frustrated teachers saw the negative effects of teaching to the middle. Teachers have observed peer effects where high achieving students do better when working with other high achieving students.

          You might say that’s the solution here – put the remedial kids together in groups and the advanced kids together in their groups. Teach the same lessons but have assignments that are tailored to the abilities of each group. But then how do you grade? Is it fair that the kids who are excelling be graded the same as the kids who are not?

          And then at which point to the same agenda-first advocates for this new policy begin their critique of this method as discriminatory and racist or whatever divisive language they like to use?

          This is politics plain and simple and not being done in the interest of any kids but as a way to advance certain people’s agendas. And I believe it is destructive to our society and very potentially a national security threat in that we are limiting our ability to develop the very best and brightest.

          It would make more sense to keep the same standard for everyone (this is called equality) but give some preference to kids from a lower economic background who are just as bright and society would benefit from ensuring they are in advanced schools as well. And if we don’t have enough seats for all the advanced kids then we either have to raise the standard (this is a good thing!) or create more classrooms that can support this.

        • Peter says:

          Studies show that statements starting with “Studies show” have never convinced anyone of anything.

    12. Chris says:

      Hey honey, what do you think about the suburbs? I hear Jersey is nice!

      Ugh.

    13. thomas says:

      Already can’t send my children to public school because they would get picked on for being the only minority children in the class room. This city has gone mad

    14. UWSmom says:

      The DOE’s entire “logic” is based on their absurd belief that all whites are wealthy, that all non-whites are poor, and that white children perform better in school (i.e., score 3 or 4 on the state tests, meaning at or above grade level) because they can afford tutoring. Which essentially means that no one is learning anything at school, since tutoring is required to learn at or above grade level, according to DOE. Please DOE improve the quality of elementary school teaching for all, starting by abandoning the G&T program that radically segregates classrooms and feeds into the middle school segregation. If you integrate the elementary schools and ensure no child is left behind, then the middle schools will have plenty of qualified candidates from all backgrounds.

    15. Pqw says:

      There it is. “Studies show”. What studies? Cite them. Or are you getting your information from Buzzfeed?

    16. D3 parent says:

      Does anyone think it’s interesting that in all these integration discussions, there is no mention of the G&T process? The Anderson school, smack in the middle of District 3, has 3% Black students and one of the lowest poverty rates (8%) in the city.

      Rumor is that the DOE is turning a blind eye towards G&T (aka “legal racial sorting”) because of the number of DOE personnel and CEC members who take advantage of these programs.

      • Peter says:

        The DOE speaks out of both sides of their mouth. During all of the middle school meetings we kept hearing about how district 3 has to do something to improve diversity in its middle schools (which should be done) yet, when anyone asked why Anderson doesn’t have to comply, we were simply told, “it’s a city-wide program, so they will not be required to comply.”

    17. Liz says:

      After fifteen years of teaching, I can tell you that one thing I know for sure is that children benefit from learning next to children who are different from them, whatever those differences might be. These children apply to middle school when they are TEN YEARS OLD, so slamming the door in their face and saying they are “not qualified” is repellant.

      If you are loudly criticizing efforts to desegregate our schools, think carefully about who your historical allies would be. It’s 1957, and you’re a white parent in Little Rock Arkansas. It’s the first day of school. What do you do? What do you tell your child to do? If you think this is really any different, well, maybe that helps you sleep at night.

      • Frank says:

        Why does this become a race issue? There is no law or even anyone in the community saying they don’t want their kids to be taught alongside kids that look differently. Comparing this to the deep South pre-civil rights is absolutely absurd. Want to talk about false moral equivalency! Might as well call everyone that disagrees with you a Nazi while you’re at it – that’s a great way to be taken seriously.

        I respect your experience as a teacher and I too see value in being around people that look different. However, the problem here is that you take a school for high achieving kids that are advanced and you load it with remedial students that need special help. No one wins here. It steals from both groups of kids all to make a few people feel morally superior and warm inside. It’s insidious and wrong and immoral.

        Kids who are so far behind will not benefit from an advanced curriculum. Advanced kids will be bored with a watered down curriculum. We’ve seen this before and teachers end up having to “teach to the middle” where no one wins. I went to a school like this in middle school and it just didn’t work. Smart kids would get bullied and some roped into bad habits. They would see the teachers give special privilege to the under achieving kids and take advantage. Very few of the kids that were already so far behind were able to catch up and excel. It was a nightmare and that school doesn’t exist in this method any longer because it was a failed experiment however noble it seemed at the time.

        I’d support letting more poor kids in that meat the same standard of admittance based on performance. Their race shouldn’t matter nor any other characteristic other than their ability to achieve.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          Frank, this is a “race issue” because it’s about DESEGREGATION. UWS middle schools have become segregated, and this hurts the Black and Hispanic students, who are mostly (but not all) from poorer and/or less affluent backgrounds.

          The elementary schools are, for the most part, geographically zoned. In the last decade or so, the middle schools have become selective, which led to the current segregation and economic / racial disparities.

          All this complaining about putting “low performers” in with “higher performers” and thus ruining the school is pure malarkey. For example, the zoned elementary school PS 199, where a lot of the wealthier white students attend, has 21% “low performers” on the state tests. THe DOE desgregation plan will make the middle schools 25% “low performers.”

          Are you telling me the 1 or 2 extra students per class will bring down all these brilliant high performers?

          Malarkey.

          • Frank says:

            If you really cared about helping students from poor families then why exclude Asian families? They have the highest poverty rate of any group in the city.

            How does this help the remedial students that is a requirement for this policy? Why not make an extra effort to help the advanced black/Hispanic kids from poor families? Or better yet, why not exclude race all together and choose EQUALITY instead by giving a percentage of seats to poor kids from any race that are advanced in their studies?

            Why not just randomly select students instead and give up on the idea of speciality schools for advanced kids all together? Why not, comrade?

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              Reply to Comrade Frank:

              you seem to be totally confused about what issue we are discussing in this thread.

              We are discussing a desegregation plan for District 3 (UWS) middle schools. You seem to think we are discussing a separate desegregation issue, the issue of admittance to the 8 NYC “tested” specialized High schools.

              the majority of middle schools on the UWS are not public middle schools, not “specialty schools” for “advanced kids.”

              I am more than happy to discuss the problems with the SHSHAT (the Specialized High School Admissions Test), but this has nothing to do with this thread.

            • Frank says:

              Dear Bruce,

              I’ll reply to a few of your latest thoughts here.

              > We are discussing a desegregation plan…

              >the fact remains that we are talking about 1 or 2 extra “low performers” in each classroom, anong 28 or so students. is that really going to disrupt the class?

              Do you not see the cognitive dissonance here? You claim to advocate for the desegregation of NYC schools (while conflating the current state with pre-Brown VS Board of Education structures, like anyone is buying that) and then make the claim it’s only “1 or 2 extra students”. How does 1 or 2 extra students create desegregation? It doesn’t and your statement is disingenuous in that it WON’T be 1 or 2 more.

              >I’m really glad that Dnald and Frank both had “high standard” educations that didn’t expose them to any “infiltration” by “remedial students.” it obviously paid off.

              I went to public schools that were majority NOT white. I came from a very blue collar place that wasn’t race obsessed and we actually lived by people that looked different from each other. We were all in it together. More than I can say about NYC to be sure. This place, like many rich cities, loves to show one way but doesn’t actually want to live that way. We think we’re fooling everyone but much of of the country knows it’s a sham no matter how deluded we want to be here.

              And guess what – it isn’t only the schools that determines if you will excel. Having parents that care matters a lot. Do you really, honestly, think it’s as simple as dropping remedial kids into high performing schools? Are you actually committing an immoral atrocity against these people by selling them this lie? What is your motive here?

              >Some people say “stop making this into a racial issue.” it is a DESEGRAGATION plan

              Then why not keep standards high and give extra admittance to high performing black/Latin kids instead of low performing ones? I still find this insufferable but would compromise there. I think it’s still divisive as Asian families are the poorest statistically in the city and really, taking only race into account is only divisive. Poor white or Asian kids should now be punished for being born a certain way? Why do you think your social engineering is good for the country? Ask yourself – does this help or hurt the country in the long run? Is this a scalable plan that won’t create more failing progressive agendas? C’mon, the proof is in the pudding if you’ve seen what’s gone on nationally the last 10 years.

              We should judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin after all.

              In the end, can you at least answer me what the motivation is for not only giving special privilege to black/Hispanic kids, but that we are only opening this opportunity to the LOWEST performing ones? If you are interested in integration then make it available to the highest performing black/Latin kids.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        Liz, the teacher, hit the nail right on the head.

    18. curtmarh says:

      I am watching this unfold from District 2 and I am pretty terrified. We already have one foot in Westchester County, or just out of NY in general.

    19. Don’t learn from past mistakes says:

      The people that run private schools must be jumping for joy,after reading about this new School plan.
      Now let me tell you my story. Seventeen years ago when I sent my first child to public school virtually every friend I had looked at me like I was nuts, a child abuser, how could I send my kid to public school. They all sent their kids to private schools or moved out of the city as soon as their kids were of school age.
      Now over many years the schools on the UWS have gotten so much better these same families are fighting to get their kids into the same schools they rejected years ago.
      This new plan is really good for childless families that need two and three bedroom apartments, since the next generation of parent undoubtedly will be moving out of the city when their children reach school age or send them back to private schools, as this new plan is not going to benefit them at all. I don’t care what the liberal studies say I don’t believe diversity of this kind helps upper middle class kids at school at all. All it does is take valuable time away from their education!
      Plans like this have been done before, I guess we don’t learn from our past mistakes, the result is that the middle class leave the system and the schools get more segregated than ever.
      I am not suggesting that nothing should be done, but a better idea would be to put more resources into schools that need them instead off lowering the standards of good school that keep the middle and upper middle class families in the city.
      Please understand that my view is not based on race. I don’t care what color a student is if they qualify to be in a better school than they may attend now. But please don’t lower the standards to make our public school system a bad joke again.

    20. Dnald Berrian says:

      Wouldn’t it be simpler to just get rid of the “exam schools” altogether? Why have “selective” schools if you don’t allow them to limit their admissions to high performers? The results of not doing that will be the same.

      • Frank says:

        I think that’s the plan overall. Destroy high standard schools by using political force to infiltrate them with remedial students. Only when high standard schools are finally destroyed and every kid is exposed to the same mediocre experience will we finally reach the bottom where the neo-Marxists in control can finally be of use and implement their entire socialist policy by dominating the now entirely dependent population.

        I jest here…I hope…but this plan is in fact a race to the bottom.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          I’m really glad that Dnald and Frank both had “high standard” educations that didn’t expose them to any “infiltration” by “remedial students.” it obviously paid off.

          but you do both realize that UWS middle school desegregation plan, discussed in this thread, is something totally separate from the SHSAT “testing high school” (Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, etc.) issue? that is the issue you both seem to be discussing.

    21. Mark Moore says:

      So if you’re a low income student with average grades you still won’t be able to get in. But if you’re a low income student with bad grades, you’re in. It makes no sense. They’re actually rewarding poor performance.

    22. BklynT says:

      This is where charter schools get it right. Entry is lottery based, and diversity naturally happens. We should have public school lottery based admissions within a few miles of a school. And it could happen for elementary on up.
      For the record, my child goes to a diverse charter school and when given the opportunity to thrive, equally, all children do. I’ve seen it first hand.

    23. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      there is a lot of confusion in the comments, and also some obfuscation. I also have a feeling that some of those who are attacking the plan are not public school parents.

      Let me try to sort out the issues.

      Some people say “stop making this into a racial issue.” it is a DESEGRAGATION plan, which address the segregation of middle schools on the Upper West Side. So, by definition, it is about race, and racial and ethnic disparities in education. It is a modest attempt to address the disparities.

      Some people make the argument that “we don’t care about anyone’s race”, they just don’t want “low performing students” sitting in the same classrooms with higher performing students. Supposedly, this brings down the performance of the higher performing students.

      The plan sets 25% of middle school seats aside for “lower-performing” students.

      But the fact is that ALL of these schools, middle and elemenatary — including the sainted PS 199 — currently have lower performing students. PS 199 has 21% of students who are under standard at 4th grade in English and 16% in Math.

      PS 333, considered a “high performing” school, has 32% “low performers” in English and 38% in Math.

      While the new formula is somewhat more complicated and does not just rely on the state tests, the fact remains that we are talking about 1 or 2 extra “low performers” in each classroom, anong 28 or so students. is that really going to disrupt the class?

      Maybe it’s ok when the “low performers” come from wealthy white households, but a source of alarm when they come from poorer Black or Hispanic Households. Just sayin’…

      All the arguments about “merit” are atrocious. The “merit” they’re talking about is TWO TESTS taken in the 4th grade. seriously? and since when is admission to all middle schools — public schools — based on some sort of “competitive merit”? these are public schools.

      No 4th grader should be judged on “merit.” We’ve lost all sense of proportion when we do that.

      Finally, regarding all the alarm about “upper middle class parents are going to flee the city” (yes, read it above): this reminds me of when De Blasio ended the racial profiling version of “stop and frisk.” “Crime is going to skyrocket!” I read endless tirades from some of the same people in some of the same blogs. But… crime is down.

      Relax, people. The kids are all going to do just fine. Except they will go to schools that are just a tad more integrated. Which is something we all (or most of us) can support, right?

    24. UWS Craig says:

      There is a simple solution – make admission to Middle School random. Cap the number of white and Asian children at each school so that there are no schools that privileged. That way everyone will work to the improvement of ALL schools.