PS 8 - PS 307

Here is what is true.
An overcrowded school is not safe or educationally sound. Expecting a school placement and being told less than a year before you will attend that you are going some place (any place) else is an unhappy shock. Being told that your community is going to have a drastic upheaval is an unhappy shock. Being a member of a community that you love that other people disparage will make you mad. Everyone loves their children and wants the best for them. All people from different communities will be skeptical of the motives and habits of the other, until they meet them and their children face to face and day to day.

This timing of the rezoning process is exactly the same as it is every year in other neighborhoods of the city (in fact since the PS 8 community has been so on point, this is actually earlier than I usually see it). The CEC (Community Education Council) is the body that votes on this rezoning. They know the terrible implications of an overcrowded community. There would need to be VERY compelling evidence that the rezoning would be inappropriate in order to vote it down. Everyone hates rezoning. Public discussion on this is important, but the overcapacity is here now and only getting worse and needs to be dealt with now. Time is not on your side.

This rezoning is likely going to happen. Parents on both sides have choices to leave their communities to try for other schools (g&t, charter, un-zoned, magnet, out of zone) and many will go. No matter how much the DoE works the numbers, parents will not send their kids to schools that they do not want. The numbers (about population and school stats) can lie about the 'on the ground' reality of the situation. Parents who try to build consensus and form a true blended community can be successful but it is really hard and takes some time (but worth it and their kids may actually benefit from it - mine did). The loudest voices make it feel like they represent the most people, but they often don't. The kids from homes where they get good nutrition, attend school every day and on time, where parents have high expectations and read to their children every night are going to be successful in school as long as their children are safe and surrounded by educators of integrity. That is true, no matter where you live, what color or socioeconomic class you are in. If those things are in place, then the quality of the teachers is almost everything in any school and the test scores don't reflect that in my opinion (that is a whole 'nother blog!).

Read this thoughtful essay by @BrooklynRob a D13 CEC member and parent at PS 282.
The NY Times article. Race and Class Collide