Thursday, May 29

DOE: We will "solve the problems" with as many as 9K pre-K applications


Finally, today, the pre-K debacle has made it into the papers — where we learn that the DOE believes all the problems are parents' fault. DOE spokesman Andy Jacob told the Times that the problems appear to have affected only families with siblings already enrolled in a school with a pre-K program. That means, of course, that the problems may be widespread, because those families make up 45 percent of the 20,000 families who applied for pre-K seats.

Jacob told the Times that DOE officials believe the data entry done in Pennsylvania is not the culprit, but that blame more likely rests with parents who made a "simple mistake" when filling out the form. To the Post, he said that "most complaints involved parents who wrongly believed they qualified for priority placement or whose application data contained errors."

Some good news: Jacob told the Times, "We will find a way to solve the problems that do exist." How magnanimous: They may not respect you or believe you're capable of filling out a form, but at least they'll make right when you screw up.

Please let us know when you start getting resolution to your problems — we hope it's soon!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, it's hard to see how those problems get solved without de-admitting the non-sibs who fill the spots. He thinks that people mistakenly thought they had priority. Does that mean that 'sibling trumps all' was not a correct message? Is this all about shutting out non-zoned kids including sibs? The twin thing is baffling: one in, one out? It will be interesting to hear the explanation once it is all sorted out. Parent error seems improbable in this many applications. And, truly, if this many people (nearly half) fill your form out wrong then you need to look at the form and directions for error, not the people.

Ginger said...

Yeah, the DOE's comments are a big F*** You to those of waiting for this to be resolved. My God, the translate the damn application into Bengali, but can't give out a damn number, name or office that might be responsible here.

It was fun talking to my nabes this morning who got in over my kid who has a sib in our school already.

Anonymous said...

not sure if the application for pre-k differed from the ones for elementary/middle school, but as far as I can remember, the language at the bottom was full of legalese and loopholes so that in the event that the DOE FELT that you "did not fill out the application properly" they could do as they wished. in other words, yes, they CAN say that and they've been planning on saying that - but if you, like many others made a copy of your application, this may be a good time to retrieve it.

Anonymous said...

So glad Spokesman Andy Jacob is "confident" it's not a data entry problem, but how was it that my street is spelled incorrectly on the denial letter, but is totally correct on the application form? Sorry, Andy, but you're just plain wrong.

Anonymous said...

I am a rare parent whose child was accepted into the pre-k of my choice. The kicker is when I called the school to set up a pre-registration date, they told me they were a lottery school and had already given all the seats to the children who got accepted in their lottery. This school was listed in the Pre-K Directory given out by the DOE. It also listed the school had 4 all day pre-k classes but the principal of the school told me they only have 1 pre-k class. Whose fault is this? Mine? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to correct my last statement. The school does only have 1 pre-k class not 4 as I stated before. It still doesn't change the fact that the DOE dropped the ball in my situation as well as others. The city plans on cutting 450 million dollars to our NYC schools and they have the nerve to pay a company in Pennsylvania to do the work we already pay people in NYC to do. Shame on you, Mayor Bloomberg and NYC School Chancellor Joel Klien.

Anonymous said...

why is it so hard to find competent people to do this kind of work? and create the forms? and just check things in general? aren't there project managers for this kind of thing? DOE could use a bit of help from the direct marketers.

Anonymous said...

If the statement "The kicker is when I called the school to set up a pre-registration date, they told me they were a lottery school and had already given all the seats to the children who got accepted in their lottery" is true than that school and principal need to be made an example of...a public outing of that school needs to be made...

Anonymous said...

I don't have my letter yet. But I called the DOE and was told that we got our first choice school. So I will be calling to make my appointment tomorrow. District 3

Brian said...

I am concerned that the problem is being inaccurately portrayed as a sibling issue only. We discovered that out of zone kids with NO siblings were accepted to PS 10 while several in zone kids (my son included) were not.

Is it possible that the ranking order on the application trumps zone priority? If so, this was never stated on the application and may be a root cause for the results.

I feel that the DOE needs to examine the non-sibling problem; Jacob suggests that only sibling applications are being reviewed. I also think that the DOE needs to explain EXACTLY how the computer algorithm worked.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Brian...Why wouldn't ranking trump zoning..If you choose to pick a school that you were not zoned for over your zoned school and were accepted than another parent would voice the same concern you just raised.Did you on your application put your zoned school as your first choice? The same can be said for sibling priority..If you didn't put the sibling school as your first choice you should not expect to have that priority.
As a parent of a unzoned sibling who got in to his first choice,I really feel bad for the parents who did not get in but I could not have expected to have it both ways...

Anonymous said...

I am the parent who wrote about the school that is claiming to be a lottery school. That school is PS/IS 499(the Queens College School for Math, Science and Technology in Flushing, Queens. My husband spoke directly with the principal, Ms. Schnieder who stated to him she has a memo of understanding signed by the DOE and Queens College that states her school is a lottery school. We asked her to email us a copy of that but she wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

You should direct you comment about PS/IS 499 directly to Klein's office...As messed up as this process has become NO PRINCIPAL should be able to hijack it