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.
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 schoolâs 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. > >âTheyâre safe,â said Leslie Uretsky, a >parent of two young children who are being zoned >out of P.S. 321 and into a new school. âMy >daughters would be an experiment.â > >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 Fredrickâs >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. > >âIt cost a fortune,â Mr. Fredrick said, >âand to spend that and having mice running around wasnât great.â > >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. > >âIt was not our intention to zip in and zip >out,â he said. âWe would have stayed if we could have.â > >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. > >âEven our bed wouldnât fit in some of those places,â 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. > > >âFamilies are really truly invested in the >school, even if they leave the neighborhood,â >Ms. Pope said. âItâs a source of stability.â > >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. > >âSwitching schools disrupts education,â said >Carrie Marlin, a planning official at the >Education Department. âWe think all students deserve continuity.â > >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 districtâs 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. > >âAre there people who lie about their address? >Of course,â she said before a roomful of >jittery parents. âWe check as much as we can. >We do home visits. But there is a limit.â > >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 childrenâs college >tuition; now he fears that they could end up $100,000 short. > >One thing most of the neighborhoodâs parents >can agree on is that there is no perfect >solution to P.S. 321âs crowding problem. >Another is that when it comes to children, a >primal rule applies. Said Katie Keating, a P.S. >321 parent: âYou canât really fault a parent >for trying to get their kid the best situation they can.â > >Randy Leonard contributed reporting.