You sound like an expert on the Ptolemaic system who has been confronted with Copernicus' work. Naturally, he rejects it.
On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 9:44 AM, Haim <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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. >
-- --Louis A. Talman Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences Metropolitan State College of Denver