The mess in the NYC G&T programs and the ridiculous competition for private school slots is a major reason why my [husband] accepted a position in one of his firm's branch offices rather than its Manhattan headquarters.What a sad reality — and there is a growing perception that this truly is the reality. Monday's Times had a column titled "Loving a City, but Hating a School System" about the challenges families face negotiating school admissions run by a DOE that's "withholding, mercurial and unable to commit." The column describes how, because the DOE regularly changes admissions rules and timelines, parents devise contingency plans for every admissions scenario. These plans often include moving on short notice within the city or out of it.
The bureaucrats need to know that the situation is deterring families from living in the city.
Although some might like it, the DOE is under no obligation to create a seat in gifted programs or desirable schools for every middle-class family that seeks one. But the DOE has perfected its ability to make and enforce policies without showing any concern for their affect on individual children and families. This attitude is offensive to everyone. But only some can respond by opting out, and for the system — and the city — to thrive, it needs to attract and retain educated, middle-class families who want to send their kids to the public schools.
All families seem to be asking is that the DOE stick to its own rules, give fair warning when a rule could change, and not penalize those who made plans based on yesterday's rules. That doesn't sound like too much to expect.