As you can imagine, I am getting a million calls today. I will try and answer some of your questions.
- this plan could be tweaked, but what might be bad for some is not so bad for others, so the only case the DoE is likely to consider will be based on compelling numbers.
- I personally feel the most interesting argument is the one about how this will effect the racial and socio economic diversity at all the schools- whatever the difference, it will likely be quite small.
- all the existing schools are among the top performing schools anywhere around. They all have solid progressive leadership who have gathered talented staff and attracted very strong teaching. Frankly, are the kids on one block nicer than the kids on another? You know they are all awesome. The parents are all rabidly involved. The big difference will be the size of the school buildings, whether they are old or newer and the fact that PS 10 and the new school will probably be the only truly diverse programs. Will your child's education be impacted by moving to the school on your left rather than on your right. Probably not.
- Will your property values be affected? I leave that up to the real estate agents in the neighborhood. If it were a matter of changing the line in the north slope there would be drastic differences, but my guess is that a valuable property on 1st St., 7th St. and 10th St. are probably fairly comprable as far as the schools factor into value.
- What about the new school? If all remains as it is now, if, as rumor says, a Vice Principal from 321 is being considered for the leadership at the school that will be housed in the St. Thomas Aquinas building. They will have a strong progressive educator from the flagship school in the neighborhood, who will likely cherry pick many of the talented teachers who may be laid off because of section reductions at 321, and the school is filled with the same school ready kids and active Park Slope parents. I am no fortune teller, but I think that the prognosis is likely pretty good.
How often can this happen? It has not happened in District 15 in my memory and when I asked the District Superintendent she said there haven't been changes in at least 8 years (probably more). The plan is designed to manage capacity long term. I suppose that the only thing we can do is try and influence future indescriminate development.
Will this happen again? If this flies, the problem should be alieviated in Park Slope for years. But other parts of the district need to be addressed, like Sunset Park and Cobble Hill.
Is there something that you can do to influence the process? This is my first experience with rezoning, so I don't know. I know that parent outcry last year over rezoning in lower Manhattan sent Portfolio Planning back to the drawing board. You have 45 days to weigh in. All the contact info is included in the previous blog.