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October 5, 2016
Five New York City school districts putting integration on the map
As the school year ramps up, so do plans to integrate New York City classrooms.
September 29, 2016
New diversity plans, same disputes in Upper West Side school rezoning
One school may implement a diversity plan for admissions, but parents who would be zoned out of high-performing P.S. 199 continue to push back.
September 19, 2016
Upper West Side parents still fighting rezoning plan that would diversify schools
The city has drawn up another plan to relieve overcrowding and integrate Upper West Side schools, but parents still need to be won over.
speaking of segregation
August 10, 2016
Mayor Bill de Blasio promises ‘bigger vision’ for promoting school diversity, but offers few specifics
“So to folks who say we want to see more, I understand where they are coming from and my simple answer is: you’re going to see more,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
hello from the other side
July 21, 2016
Advocates seize chance to push for Upper West Side desegregation, but face stiff resistance
As a zoning debate highlights the divides among Upper West Side schools, advocates are pushing for district-wide desegregation.
June 21, 2016
Behind the scenes, parents mount coordinated campaign to block Upper West Side rezoning
On June 3, parents at P.S. 452 on the Upper West Side received an online survey about the city’s plan to move their school from…
June 16, 2016
Latest Upper West Side rezoning battle renews debate over how best to integrate schools
This week marked the second time in less than a year that parents on the sharply segregated Upper West Side gathered in droves to protest…
sorting the students
June 10, 2016
Upper West Side superintendent floats integration plan to reduce the class divide among middle schools
The idea for is for every middle school to enroll at least 30 percent low-income students, in a district where some enroll 10 percent and others nearly 100 percent.
sorting the students
Updated March 1, 2016
On the Upper West Side, a radical plan to desegregate schools faces an uphill climb
Advocates want to abolish the school zones in Manhattan's District 3 in a bid to boost diversity, but some parent leaders are skeptical.
A tale of two schools
October 19, 2015
For two sharply divided Manhattan schools, an uncertain path to integration
P.S. 191 and 199 are neighbors with glaring disparities. Competing plans could help change that — but not everyone is on board.
November 24, 2010
As charter apps trickle in, Upper West Side debates demand
Hundreds of families have submitted early-bird applications to the newest charter school in Eva Moskowitz's chain, which so far lacks a home but has seen no shortage of controversy. Upper West Success Academy reports that 357 families have filed applications since the school was approved last month. Two-thirds live in District 3, the diverse and relatively wealthy district stretching from 59th Street to 122nd Street on the West Side of Manhattan where the school will be located. "Given that every great elementary school on the Upper West Side is overcrowded and the terrific private schools cost more than $30,000 a year, it's hardly surprising that Upper West Side parents are lining up for a high performing charter school," Moskowitz said in a statement. Her organization is also touting the results of a phone poll that found 70 percent of neighborhood parents would support the school opening in the area. When told that the school would share space with another public school, support dropped to 59 percent. But applications from 269 district families and a poll of 300 households does not "demand" make, according to parent leaders who are pushing back against the school. They say the city would do better to invest in existing schools rather than to carve out space for a charter school.
May 6, 2009
A protest as hundreds of kindergarten hopefuls sit on waiting lists
Parents and elected officials gathered at City Hall today to protest crowding in Manhattan that has led to long waiting lists for public school kindergartens. (GothamSchools ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/28995913@N07/3508423223/##Flickr##) A crowd of shell-shocked parents gathered outside City Hall this afternoon, angry that the Department of Education hasn’t found seats for the hundreds of rising kindergarten students who have been placed on waiting lists for next year at their local public schools. The waiting lists, which include 273 names in just two Manhattan districts, mean that families in baby- and building-boom areas like the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side, and Greenwich Village could find themselves unable to secure a spot at their neighborhood school's kindergarten. The lists attracted extra attention yesterday after news leaked that the city was considering closing or relocating prekindergarten classes at two Greenwich Village elementary schools, PS 3 and PS 41, in order to make room for kindergartners. Parents at the rally said they felt confused and powerless. "As far as I can tell, I don't have a Plan B — other than home school or moving to Jersey," said Jay Douglas, whose 4-year-old son is number 42 on a waiting list for PS 187 in Washington Heights. Elected officials joined the parents at City Hall today to criticize city officials for not planning ahead to meet the demand for spots in public schools. Scott Stringer, Manhattan's borough president, said the DOE is "closing its eyes" to a widespread capacity problem, warning that taxpaying parents will pack up and move, taking their kids and tax dollars somewhere else if they can't enroll in their local public school.
December 9, 2008
Elected parent leaders learned of school closure by e-mail
It's déjà vu all over again for parents as the Department of Education reveals its latest round of school closures. Last year, City Council members complained that the DOE announced school closures without first discussing them with community members. Like other parent advocates, council members argued that the DOE's actions were in violation of the state's education law, which requires the chancellor to "consult with the affected community district education council" before closing or substantially changing schools. But despite the outcry, the district-wide community education councils aren't any more in the loop this year. "The CECs were notified the same day the staff was told" at each school, DOE spokeswoman Melody Meyer told me today. For District 15's CEC, at least, that notification came in the form of an e-mail yesterday afternoon, after the principal of PS 27 had already been told her school would be closing in June, according to the council's president, Jennifer Stringfellow.
November 20, 2008
Despite a rally and walkout, UWS parent council votes to rezone
An adapted Obama poster used at last night's District 3 diversity rally. An Upper West Side parent council last night put its stamp of approval on a plan to ease overcrowding in public schools there. But opponents of the plan, who have been criticizing it for the past two months as stamping out diversity, kept up their fight until the very end. The council's resolution means that two schools, the Anderson School and the Center School, will relocate to other buildings in the neighborhood next fall. In 2010, people living in three small sections of the neighborhood will be reassigned to different elementary schools. All that remains now is for the Department of Education to execute the changes. Opponents of the resolution included both Center School parents who don't want their school to move and advocates of diversity, who think the resolution will make schools in the area more segregated. Some of those parents rallied before the meeting yesterday. (View a video from last night's rally, during which speakers condemn Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and swear to keep fighting for diversity. Yes, "Sex and the City" actress Cynthia Nixon appears, but unlike in last week's video, she has a non-speaking role.) Before the council approved the resolution in a 7-1 vote, dozens of parents, neighborhood residents, and elected officials delivered one-minute speeches expressing their support or opposition. The speeches lasted more than an hour.
November 19, 2008
Tonight, a rally in District 3 to support diversity, oppose rezoning
PHOTO: Scott ElliottA few people protested outside last week's CEC meeting; more are expected tonight. A rally this evening against a parent council resolution to relieve overcrowding in Upper West Side schools will try to move beyond a bitter fight between two schools to focus on the broader issue of diversity in the neighborhood's schools. The Community Education Council for District 3 voted last week after a contentious meeting to introduce a resolution that would move two schools and reduce the zones of two others. Tonight, six members of CEC 3 must vote to pass the resolution. Before tonight's CEC vote, a rally will give voice to parents who say the resolution, if enacted, would reduce diversity in several of the neighborhood's school buildings. "Is this what we want in our city?" asked Jeanne Kerwin, a parent who is one of the organizers of tonight's rally. At stake is the fate of the entire two-month-long rezoning process. If the resolution is defeated tonight, the Department of Education, not parents, will decide how to deal with the space crunch at neighborhood schools.
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