Thursday, June 5

DOE: Rethinking for Next Year?


With the pre-K dust still swirling and hundreds of middle-school families still waiting for official word on where their children have been placed, the citywide admissions process obviously needs rethinking. Politicos like Betsy Gotbaum, Bill deBlasio, Brookyn borough president Marty Markowitz and others are challenging the DOE to review, and redo, applications as needed. (DeBlasio, a public-school parent, is also waiting for middle-school news for his own child.)

The difficulties are undeniable, and the cures uncertain. But while the DOE says they'll work to clarify whatever confused parents this year ahead of next year's applications, they don't (yet) explain how they will address and amend this year's problems. It's increasingly difficult to wait with a degree of patience.

Comments like "it's simply not correct to say that we're running way behind" on middle-school notification, which Andy Jacob wrote to me this morning, sorely test that patience. Earlier this week, he said all letters were to have gone out by Monday June 2. Now, he says, "some of the assignments went out last week. ... Some of them went out earlier this week. All the letters should be out by today." Does that 'should' make you nervous, too?

We are working with the DOE, seeking detailed comment on specific enrollment and admissions questions. We hope for their candor and prompt communication. And for the reader who wondered, where's Chancellor Klein in all this? He's in Washington, DC -- giving a talk this afternoon at the American Enterprise Institute, on the challenges of revitalizing urban schools.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

All I read from your blog this week were about PK admission and middle school placement. Did any one get the G & T confirmation letters for elementary students? It was said that all the confirmation should be sent out by June 2. But we are still waiting for answers.

helen said...

this is one of the questions we have for the DOE -- we'll report back whatever we learn. sorry for delay, but we're not holding out...

Anonymous said...

I thought someone on this blog called doe, who said the kindergarten and first grade G/T letters haven't been sent out yet. I have not heard yet.

Anonymous said...

Pre-K and G & T........... what about the rest of us waiting to hear on general ed lottery. If I had not call BOE yesterday I would have never known District 3 Lottery was being held tonight and would have suffered through yet another week of not knowing where my child will attend school in SEPTEMBER!!!!! I'm confused is this not NYC we mine as well be living in the back woods somewhere!

RG said...

Joel Klein is in DC??? Isn't he the one responsible for centralizing the admissions process? How can he not be present while the department is dealing with the consequences of this decision? This is grossly irresponsible behavior from a public servant.

This also convinces me that DOE truly does not understand the urgency here. It's one thing to miserably botch the pre-K admissions process, but how can they still be asleep at the wheel when they should be busy coming up with a solution? I am appalled!

Beyond that, I am suspicious that the what the DOE is planning, is to minimize the pre-K problem away. Their statement yesterday that only 200 applications were mishandled is cause for great concern. I am sure, as Bill de Blasio indicated at yesterday's press conference, that the problems are much more widespread. Think about it, 200 is a conveniently manageable number of children to place - they will easily be able to get these children into spaces vacated by children who have been accepted but do not register.

Ginger said...

As you have likely heard, a number of public PreK applicants who should have received priority (siblings of older kids already enrolled at that school; zoned kids rejected, while out-of-zone and out-of-district kids were accepted) did get spots in this year's PreK admissions. As spots are limited in general, some schools simply have more sibling or zoned applicants than there are spots for, but that is not the matter at issue.

If you know of anyone in this situation (anywhere in NYC!) please ask them to complete this survey as we (parents of rejected kids) attempt to get a handle on the scope & outreach thus far. While both Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum & City Councilman Bill De Blasio called a press conference yesterday demanding the DOE deal with the situation, we have yet to have a proper response from the DOE as a group or individually. They have told the press they will find suitable spots for wrongly rejected kids, but these spots may be in a school elsewhere in one's district. That is unacceptable.

PLEASE PASS ON OUR POST THIS SURVEY:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=0B4Y3u5DSXKj4qsF7gptpA_3d_3d

Many thanks,

Mom to rejected twin and accepted twin (although no letter yet) at big sis' school___

Anonymous said...

So maybe they are dragging this Prek thing out so that registration will be complete, and just give us first dibs at the June 23 wait list!!!

dr. Monty Weinstein said...

We are all blogging and blogging to alleviate our anxieties but the reality is that the G*T middle school notifications and K G&T placements are not out and the parents need to do something. It is noteworthy to understand that while NYC parents and their children are in a state of anxiety about the upcoming year, Chancellor Klein is down in D.C> talking to a right wing group - American Enterprise Institute talking abaout urban reform. His notion of reform is placing a bunch of ivy league graduates in Tween to tinker with a system that works. These graduates either don't have children or don't have children in the public school. We need to group together and demand in a unified fashion that the DOE extend into July the time to answer for K and middle school and also demand an appeal process. Is there anyone who can be the point person?

Anonymous said...

There is a long view here. Given recent media reports, it strikes me that they might be preparing us all for a number of potential measures that need to be taken vis-a-vis capacity. Re-zoning among them. The longest view, I suspect, is to strengthen public education as a whole, so that the vagaries of lotteries hold less at stake. City Council elections are coming up, as a number of other local elections. These issues should be at the fore of candid talks with candidates-- and their clear stance on how to deal with the legitimate issue of capacity, spelled out.

Anonymous said...

I'm wary about the attack on siblings. We moved six blocks away from the school where our 2nd grader lives (not by choice - we were renters kicked out for condo convestion) but its not like this is really out of the neighborhood! Its a quirk of small school zones!

We didn't get into our sib's school due to the snafu (we have confirmed everything about our application was correct) but I'm more worried that the sibling preference could be modified next year when the DOE takes over the K admissions. Then we'd be REALLY bummed if sibling admission ended.....so I'm curious what the teachers union and others think about the future of the sibling policy....

Anonymous said...

The revitalization of the urban school? It would seem here, in NYC, where there are more students than seats, that the revitalization needs to come from within the DOE itself. It is not the case now that parents are fleeing the city in search of the greener pastures of suburban schools without cause. Clearly, reading the posts on this blog and elsewhere, parents want to stay in NYC and send their children to public schools; however they are being pushed, shoved, and shut out by the DOE. I so wanted to send my daughter to public school when she started kindergarten. However, with all that has gone on this past year with her g&t application, most likely I won't. Do I want to place here in a new g&t program in a failing school, or a school where the discipline problems far exceed that of any other school in the district, and where the g&t parents will be expected to be change agents? No thanks. Do I want her in an overcrowded general ed program in a school that will be hit with budget cuts because it is a high performing school? No thanks. Any revitaliztion must be concentrated on management and administration first.

Anonymous said...

okaaaaay - I fault Klein for a lot, but do people really think he is personally able to have that much more impact in an office in NYC proper than on the road at a meeting 4 hours away? Do you think he's the one sitting in a room opening letters? In the age of blackberries, etc. this is by far the least of the DOE's problems

Ginger said...

To 6:31-

Yes, in the past 10 yrs families have wanted to stay in the city, but with the number of kids here now, the baby boom in general, I think families will flock out of the city this year and next when the DOE the K policy MAKEs you go to your zoned school. Further, many shutout private-seekers can't find a good public option. Too much competition and a time of transition.