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Topic: An Educational Mystery
Replies: 4   Last Post: Nov 20, 2012 10:29 AM

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Wayne Bishop

Posts: 4,995
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: An Educational Mystery
Posted: Nov 5, 2012 11:17 AM
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It's one of the great flaws (along with the title
and some other things) NCLB, No Child Left
Behind. The worse you are doing, the easier it
is to make year-by-year progress and be treated
glowingly. If you are already at the top, the
loss of a point or two is presented as something
terrible. More Industry wisdom.

Wayne

At 07:44 AM 10/30/2012, Haim wrote:
>The item below, in The Paper of Record, caught
>my attention. As it happens, this elementary
>school is my son's alma mater and I know it inside out.
>
> First, a light-hearted moment. So, the gist
> of the NYT article is that people far outside
> the catchment will lie, cheat, and steal to get
> their children into this school. Yet, the
> DOPE's ("Dept of Public Education") progress
> report on PS 321 gives the school an overall
> grade of "B" mostly because of its Student
> Progress grade of "D". How to understand the
> seeming paradox of families desperate to gain entrance to an okay school?
>
> Maybe somebody can help me out, but I see
> only three possible explanations. Either the
> Education Mafia are morons and they produce a
> report that is mainly worthless, or people are
> stupid and do not understand the value of the
> report, or the report is a tangible measure of
> the disconnect between Education Mafia ideology
> and the hopes and aspirations of the common citizens.
>
> But now, there is a deeper mystery. So,
> here we have, in PS 321, a school that is
> highly desirable to very many people. What is
> it about PS 321 that is so desirable and, if it
> is so desirable, why do the Education Mafia not
> duplicate these desirable elements in other NYC
> elementary schools? I can tell you that the
> desirability of PS 321, if not unique, is
> certainly rare and of very long standing: the
> school was highly desirable years before my son
> attended and it remains highly desirable some eight yrs after he "graduated".
>
> That the Education Mafia has not replicated
> this school, many times, is plainly evident
> from the NYT article. So, I am racking my
> brains figuring out what about PS 321 is so
> hard to replicate. In The People's Republic of
> Brooklyn, in The Church of The Democratic
> Party, in the very Mordor of American
> liberalism, in a borough that voted for Obama
> in 2008 at a rate north of 90% (and will most
> likely do so again next week), could this be the explanation:
>
>https://reportcards.nysed.gov/files/2010-11/AOR-2011-331500010321.pdf

> >Demographic Factors
> >White: 72%

>
>in a public school population that is about 14% white?
>
>Haim
>No representation without taxation.
>- -----------------------------
>
>http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/nyregion/at-an-overcrowded-school-in-park-slope-no-one-wants-to-leave.html?hpw
>October 29, 2012
>At an Overcrowded School in Park Slope, No One Wants to Leave
>By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS
>
>As the day draws to a close at Public School
>321, the school that launched a thousand
>strollers toward Park Slope, Brooklyn, the
>grown-ups begin to assemble outside. Bus drivers
>pull their long yellow ferries up out front.
>Parents and caretakers hover near doorways and perch on benches.
>
>Some adults wait in cars, ready to shuttle their
>little students to homes far away, even far
>outside the school’s prescribed zone.
>
>They are beneficiaries of a longstanding
>regulation in New York City that says that once
>children are registered at a public school, they
>can remain until they graduate, regardless of
>where in the city they live after registration day.
>
>But Park Slope has seen a lot of development in
>recent years, especially in family-size
>apartments, and the Education Department is
>pushing forward a plan to redraw several zones
>in the area and add a new school, in an effort
>to keep overcrowded institutions from becoming
>even more tightly packed. If the plan is
>approved, the zone devoted to P.S. 321 will
>shrink by the equivalent of about 10 city
>blocks. The catchment area for another crowded
>and popular Park Slope school, P.S. 107, will be slimmer by about five blocks.
>
>Suddenly, this longstanding regulation for
>children who move has slid directly into the eye
>of a fraught fight. Many parents on blocks
>facing rezoning, who bought their homes
>expressly so their children could attend a
>particular school, are furious and panicked. And
>there is a sense among many of them, who pile
>into community meetings and online forums, that
>families who touch down in the neighborhood just
>long enough to register their children,
>sometimes for just a year or less, may be
>following the letter of the regulation but are not following its intent.
>
>“They’re safe,” said Leslie Uretsky, a
>parent of two young children who are being zoned
>out of P.S. 321 and into a new school. “My
>daughters would be an experiment.”
>
>School officials say it is primarily the new
>construction that is creating the untenable
>trend of overcrowding, not the children who
>attend P.S. 321 but live far away. Nonetheless,
>parents living in the zone say that the children
>who live elsewhere are taking up precious seats,
>and that families who come to the area without
>plans to stay long are taking advantage of the rules.
>
>Though the circumstances surrounding those
>families who do not stay vary widely, more often
>than not it was the school that drew the parents
>in, and it is economics that forces them out.
>
>When it was time for Stefan Fredrick’s
>daughter to start school, he and his family
>moved from their rental in Park Slope, just
>outside the P.S. 321 zone, to another rental
>within the zone. The apartment was not ideal.
>
>“It cost a fortune,” Mr. Fredrick said,
>“and to spend that and having mice running around wasn’t great.”
>
>After years of looking for a home to buy, and
>putting down a few bids on apartments in the
>P.S. 321 zone, Mr. Fredrick said his family
>found a place in Gowanus, just a few blocks away
>from the school but outside its zone. So they took it.
>
>“It was not our intention to zip in and zip
>out,” he said. “We would have stayed if we could have.”
>
>Francesca Pope, who was retrieving two of her
>four children from P.S. 321 last week in a gray
>minivan, said it was economics that forced her
>family, as well, to move out. Ms. Pope grew up
>in Park Slope, in the house where her father was
>raised, she said, but when she was pregnant with
>her third son, the apartment where she and her
>husband were living was sold. The apartments
>they could afford in the area were untenable for
>a family with more than two children.
>
>“Even our bed wouldn’t fit in some of those places,” she said.
>
>They moved to Flatbush, but she did not want to
>take her children out of the school they knew.
>Ms. Pope has two sons there now — if a school
>has the room, siblings of students already in
>the school can enroll, even if they do not live
>in that zone — and she continues to volunteer at
>coat drives, class trips and fund-raisers.
>
>
>“Families are really truly invested in the
>school, even if they leave the neighborhood,”
>Ms. Pope said. “It’s a source of stability.”
>
>The relocation rule, which has been on the books
>for at least two decades, provides children with
>an important modicum of stability, even if their
>families move around, educators say.
>
>“Switching schools disrupts education,” said
>Carrie Marlin, a planning official at the
>Education Department. “We think all students deserve continuity.”
>
>None of that, however, is of great comfort to
>the families being squeezed out of the zone, who
>say they are being blindsided, with little
>warning and less opportunity to be heard. The
>plan will be put to a vote in the coming weeks
>by the district’s Community Education Council,
>which controls rezoning; if passed, it will go
>into effect for the next school year.
>
>At a community meeting this month, Elizabeth
>Phillips, the principal of P.S. 321, said that
>while the majority of students who live outside
>of the zone lived within it at some point, there were those who never did.
>
>“Are there people who lie about their address?
>Of course,” she said before a roomful of
>jittery parents. “We check as much as we can.
>We do home visits. But there is a limit.”
>
>One official said schools sometimes had success
>rooting out parents who were lying about their
>address simply by asking for more documentation
>when they went in to register, which led some parents to stop trying.
>
>Another factor in this very expensive
>neighborhood is property values. Ruthanne
>Pigott, president and owner of Brenton Realty, a
>local brokerage, said there was a premium built
>into prices of apartments in the P.S. 321 zone.
>And though prices in the neighborhood are
>extremely high even outside the zone, many
>families are anxious about the prospect of losing that premium.
>
>Jean-Francois Collard, a parent in the
>neighborhood that is being redrawn out of that
>zone, said he and his wife planned to sell their
>apartment to pay his children’s college
>tuition; now he fears that they could end up $100,000 short.
>
>One thing most of the neighborhood’s parents
>can agree on is that there is no perfect
>solution to P.S. 321’s crowding problem.
>Another is that when it comes to children, a
>primal rule applies. Said Katie Keating, a P.S.
>321 parent: “You can’t really fault a parent
>for trying to get their kid the best situation they can.”
>
>Randy Leonard contributed reporting.




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