Morning Bulletin: Whole Foods Anniversary Party, Sudden School Leadership Change, ‘Kickbacks for Crayons’

The RCTA summer concert series in Riverside Park came to a close on Saturday. Photo by Jordan Cooper.

August 26, 2019 Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 77 degrees.

Free yoga and music, and many other local events are on our calendar.

The Whole Foods in the Columbus Square development on 98th Street celebrates its 10th anniversary on Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 with a community party. There will be all sorts of free food, including a carving station, salad bar, triple cheddar mac & cheese and anniversary cake. There will also be a live performance by the Harlem Central Jazz Band to salute the Harlem Jazz and Music Festival

Ilene Altschul, the Superintendent of Education District 3, which includes the Upper West Side, is leaving for a new job with the Department of Education, just days before the new school year. But there is much confusion as to why she’s going. A Chalkbeat story discusses her sometimes-controversial role in the efforts to integrate local middle schools. But a Post story indicates that she was pushed out for race-related reasons. “‘Carranza and his team targeted Ilene — among others — because she is white and Jewish,’ said a veteran white DOE administrator who is close to Altschul. ‘They wanted to replace her with one of their cronies, regardless of her work and commitment to advancing equity in her community.'” The Department of Education has called the story “anonymous made-up gossip.” Christine Loughlin, who had been Deputy Superintendent on Staten Island takes over today.

Kickbacks for crayons? Upper West Side schools are cited in an article about schools that work with a private school supply company that charges parents for basic supplies. “At least 10 NYC schools have worked out a private deal with a small Chicago-based business, Yubbler, to sell supplies to parents — and split the profits with the PTA or school….Two Upper West Side schools — PS 333 Manhattan School for Children and PS 166 The Richard Rodgers School of Arts & Technology — amassed so many staples that bagfuls of new or unused books and crayons were found in the trash recently outside both schools.”

Meanwhile, more garbage bags of supplies were found outside PS 166. “In response, the Department of Education Danielle Filson had said, ‘It won’t happen again.'”

Upper West Siders buy a disproportionate share of city tennis permits, according to an article that questions why people in lower-income neighborhoods aren’t buying the permits. “Officials also said they have worked to increase equity, pointing to their cutting the price of permits in half from $200 after the 2016 season. The number of seasonal permits hit 14,179 in the 2017 season, rising by nearly 4,000 from the previous year, records show.”

NEWS, SCHOOLS | 14 comments | permalink
    1. Margaret says:

      Race is a protected class, so those are some pretty big accusations for Ilene Altschul and the West Side Rag to be throwing around.

      • Pedestrian says:

        So if the Chancellor is a member of a protected class he cannot be criticized? I think that there is enough evidence that his decisions are either crony or race based. DeBlasio got second best. This man doesn’t even know that many of the former chancellors have been people of color and or Hispanic. He is a poor role model for students.

        • Margaret says:

          No, that’s not what I meant. IF she was fired for being a certain race, it’s absolutely prohibited under federal law and she could and should file a suit. No need to gripe anonymously to the New York Post. I expect better from the West Side Rag than to amplify such a ludicrous claim and stoke racial division.

    2. Ben David says:

      Education Chancellor Richard Carranza has made it very clear that he does not want to work with white people, unless they are in very junior positions in the DOE.
      Not only he is divisive, and dismissive of Asians and whites, but he came to New York City after failing in San Francisco and Houston; he does NOT have a good track record in running schools! Once again, another wise decision by Bill de Blasio.

      • Dolores Del Rio says:

        Then how do you explain that Carranza replaced her with a white Irish-American?

        • Ben David says:

          It’s just a temporary replacement. The DOE hiring data, which I assume you have not reviewed but I encourage you to do so, shows clearly that all senior DOE hires are non-whites now. I’m all for equal opportunity and minority hiring, but Caranza is absolutely using race as a requirement to work for him.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        does Ben David care about facts at all?

        why not take about 15 seconds to look at the DOE web site before accusing Carranza of “not wanting to work with white people.” of 9 top people other than Carranza, 4 are white non-Hispanic and 1 is Asian.

        of course it’s easier to make ill-informed NY Post style attacks.

        • Ben David says:

          Dear Bruce,
          I’m sorry, but you are incorrect. I am following the actual hires of senior and mid-level exec at DOE.
          Let’s have WS Rag fact-check with DOE.

    3. Leslie Rupert says:

      Why couldn’t the faculty in the schools with excess supplies contact other schools.?
      You certainly don’t have to go very far to find schools in need

    4. Vincent Mcgowan says:

      Please keep us informed on school issues

    5. Stuart says:

      Here are the problems with buying school supplies :

      Every teacher requires different supplies.

      Supply lists are given out after school starts in September.

      All the sales on school supplies are in August.

      By the time parents receive the supply lists, store shelves are empty.

      All the supplies for each class are pooled together so that no child is embarrassed if their family cannot afford supplies.

      If teacher assignments were given out in early August (or at the end of the prior school year), supply lists could be available to parents over the summer, so there is no mad rush to make purchases. Teachers seem to forget that most parents work full time.

      In an ideal world, the teachers for each grade could get together and make a standardized list of required supplies for each grade that could be posted on the school website.

    6. Chuck d says:

      PS 333 has got to rid itself of Lowenstein. She done 1 terrible thing after another. There’s no confidence in her leadership. It’s sad.

    7. manhattan mark says:

      Jordan, another good photo…the concert, the hudson river,and Riverside Park.