Education news. In context.
Diversity & Equity
Politics & Policy
Teaching & Classroom
Student & School Performance
Leadership & Management
Charters & Choice
Find a Job
How to be a Chalkbeat source
Republish Our Stories
Code of Ethics
Our News Partners
Work with Us
May 7, 2018
Exclusive Center School will join Upper West Side integration push, education department says
One of the most exclusive schools on the Upper West Side could be included in a controversial integration plan after all — just…
July 26, 2011
Two years after relocation fight, Center School cedes one room
Two years after the Center School vacated the building it once shared with P.S. 199 to alleviate overcrowding, the Upper West Side middle school is being told to give up some classroom space again. Administrators from the Center School and P.S. 9, which share a public school building at 100 W. 84 Street, agreed last week that the Center School would give one of its 11 classrooms to P.S. 9 in September. Department of Education officials said the building council made the decision in response to an enrollment increase at P.S. 9. Administrators from P.S. 9 were not available to comment. But some Center School community members say the DOE is sacrificing their school rather than add new school seats in District 3, where popular schools such as P.S. 9 have seen enrollments swell. They also view it as a continuation of a heated controversy between the school and the DOE over the school’s relocation. In 2008, the DOE told the Center School to leave the building it shared with P.S. 199 for more than 26 years to accommodate P.S.199’s growing class sizes. Parents and staff fought a pitched battle against the move. The actress Cynthia Nixon, a Center School parent, even accused the DOE during a public hearing of promoting racial segregation and classism. Roughly one-third of students at the Center School are African-American or Hispanic. Ultimately, the fight was unsuccessful, and since moving into the PS 9 building in 2009, crowding has been an ongoing problem for the selective middle school and its 224 students. Even with 11 classrooms, the Center School sometimes held electives, called “minis,” and literature seminars outdoors or in the school’s hallways and stairwells, according to Elaine Schwartz, the principal.
November 24, 2008
Rise & Shine: Monday, 11/24
IN NEW YORK: Schools graded D’s and F’s are more likely to have large black and Latino populations. (Daily News) To stop cheating, Stuyvesant…
November 20, 2008
Despite a rally and walkout, UWS parent council votes to rezone
An adapted Obama poster used at last night's District 3 diversity rally. An Upper West Side parent council last night put its stamp of approval on a plan to ease overcrowding in public schools there. But opponents of the plan, who have been criticizing it for the past two months as stamping out diversity, kept up their fight until the very end. The council's resolution means that two schools, the Anderson School and the Center School, will relocate to other buildings in the neighborhood next fall. In 2010, people living in three small sections of the neighborhood will be reassigned to different elementary schools. All that remains now is for the Department of Education to execute the changes. Opponents of the resolution included both Center School parents who don't want their school to move and advocates of diversity, who think the resolution will make schools in the area more segregated. Some of those parents rallied before the meeting yesterday. (View a video from last night's rally, during which speakers condemn Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and swear to keep fighting for diversity. Yes, "Sex and the City" actress Cynthia Nixon appears, but unlike in last week's video, she has a non-speaking role.) Before the council approved the resolution in a 7-1 vote, dozens of parents, neighborhood residents, and elected officials delivered one-minute speeches expressing their support or opposition. The speeches lasted more than an hour.
November 19, 2008
Tonight, a rally in District 3 to support diversity, oppose rezoning
PHOTO: Scott ElliottA few people protested outside last week's CEC meeting; more are expected tonight. A rally this evening against a parent council resolution to relieve overcrowding in Upper West Side schools will try to move beyond a bitter fight between two schools to focus on the broader issue of diversity in the neighborhood's schools. The Community Education Council for District 3 voted last week after a contentious meeting to introduce a resolution that would move two schools and reduce the zones of two others. Tonight, six members of CEC 3 must vote to pass the resolution. Before tonight's CEC vote, a rally will give voice to parents who say the resolution, if enacted, would reduce diversity in several of the neighborhood's school buildings. "Is this what we want in our city?" asked Jeanne Kerwin, a parent who is one of the organizers of tonight's rally. At stake is the fate of the entire two-month-long rezoning process. If the resolution is defeated tonight, the Department of Education, not parents, will decide how to deal with the space crunch at neighborhood schools.
November 14, 2008
Backing her kid’s school, actress Cynthia Nixon joins UWS war
Cynthia Nixon — actress, Alliance for Quality Education spokeswoman, and parent at the school — was shouted down during a heated public comment session.
November 12, 2008
Pushed to relocate, Center School parents put up a fight
This flier, which disparages Center School Principal Elaine Schwartz, appeared on the building's fence and around the neighborhood. A tiny middle school on the Upper West Side that has flown under the radar for much of its 26-year history has become the object of intense scrutiny in recent weeks as its principal and parents threaten to derail the neighborhood's plans to alleviate overcrowding. A plan proposed last week by the Community Education Council for District 3 would require the school to move from its longtime home to a larger space several blocks away. That plan, and the Department of Education's response to it, will be the topic of a CEC 3 meeting tonight. But Center School Principal Elaine Schwartz has opposed relocating since the DOE originally suggested the idea in September, and the school's loyal parents have lined up behind her. "We are totally unified," parent Alan Madison told me. "When it comes to the education of our children, we listen to [Schwartz]." Schwartz, the 26-year-old school's founding principal, told the New York Times last week that she opposed a move under any circumstances. As Schwartz and her school have dug their feet in, tension has wracked the PS 199 building on West 70 Street, where the Center School is the sole occupant of the top floor.
November 6, 2008
In District 3, parent council recommends only minor rezoning
The New York Times reported yesterday that anxiety over an impending rezoning of the Upper West Side had families frantic about whether their assigned neighborhood school could change overnight. Last night, the parent group that ultimately gets to approve any change took a step toward eliminating the worries, recommending a scaled-down rezoning that would affect only a small number of families. Since the Department of Education first proposed rezoning the area in late September, some Upper West Side families feared being shut out of their neighborhood school, and at least one school, the Center School, railed against a plan that would require a handful of schools to relocate. In a meeting last night that was closed to public comment, the Community Education Council for District 3 recommended that the Center School vacate the building it shares with PS 199, in which classes must be held in hallways, and move seven blocks south to PS 9. Space would be made available there by relocating the citywide gifted school, Anderson, to a middle school building on West 77 Street. Center School administrators and parents oppose such a move, saying that the school has thrived in its current location, despite its tight quarters.
In your inbox.
Chalkbeat New York
How I Teach
Rise & Shine Colorado
Rise & Shine Detroit
Rise & Shine Indiana
Rise & Shine Tennessee
The Starting Line