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February 28, 2017
How many students apply to each NYC school, how many get in, and where do they come from? We could soon find out
A proposed bill would require the city to report more information about school applications, including the zip codes of students who are accepted and rejected.
July 6, 2016
New report: City classrooms are increasingly overcrowded, especially for the youngest students
Over 800,000 students are enrolled in schools where the average class size exceeds limits set by the city itself in 2007.
Counting Class Size
October 19, 2015
Nearly 1,000 fewer classes are overcrowded this year, according to union survey
An annual union survey found that 5,485 classes were overcrowded at the start of the school year, down from 6,447 last year.
A tale of two schools
October 19, 2015
For two sharply divided Manhattan schools, an uncertain path to integration
P.S. 191 and 199 are neighbors with glaring disparities. Competing plans could help change that — but not everyone is on board.
October 6, 2015
Five data points that illustrate challenges New York City schools face
A third of students are off-track by the time they reach high school, according to a new report that includes hundreds of data points about the city school system.
June 6, 2014
Report: City’s budget plan doesn’t do enough to end school overcrowding
The city’s budget plan will not solve the problem of school overcrowding, a new report argues, despite the mayor’s pledge to devote new resources toward…
April 4, 2014
Principals, charter leaders, real estate experts, and others to tackle school-space issues
Principals, charter school leaders, real estate experts, special education advocates, and others will join together to try to untangle knotty matters involving school space, city…
March 26, 2014
Fariña and KIPP co-founder to join working group on co-locations
As the mayor tries to reset relations with the charter-school sector, he announced a working group Wednesday devoted to addressing the contentious issue…
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.
May 3, 2011
With crowding help on the horizon, Francis Lewis HS fears cuts
Teachers and parents at the city's second-biggest school say they're worried that teacher layoffs could undercut the city's promise to shrink enrollment. Now-famous for its 14 period days and classrooms that are right at — and sometimes right over — class size limits, Francis Lewis High School enrollment could fall below 4,000 next year. Following an agreement reached last year between the Department of Education's Office of Student Enrollment and the school's leadership, Francis Lewis's enrollment fell by 200 students last year and is poised to drop by another 200 next year to roughly 3,980 students, according to a source at the school. With fewer students, the high school will be able to move to a 10 period day next year, though it will still have to use trailers as classrooms for some of its students. Last Friday, some parents and teachers at the school held a rally to tell city officials that even with the agreement in place, they're worried Francis Lewis could backslide.
March 30, 2011
Kindergarten wait lists lengthen as more families apply
Over 3,000 soon-to-be kindergarteners are on wait-lists for elementary school this year — a marked increase over last year and one that's hitting schools in Queens and Manhattan particularly hard. Every spring, in what has become a ritual in recent years, parents register for kindergarten at their nearby elementary schools for the following year ,and every spring, thousands are wait-listed. Department of Education officials said they received 8,000 more kindergarten applications this year than last year. While more than 92 percent of those families have been accepted to their zoned schools, 3,195 of them are still waiting for a placement. DOE officials emphasized that between now and the end of May the wait list numbers could fluctuate. During the intervening months, some families will move away, enroll their children in private or parochial schools, or win lotteries for charter school admission. Officials said they would open more kindergarten classes where they could find space. But come the end of May, families who still don't have seats in their zoned schools will be sent new schools to choose from. Last year, nearly 1,000 kindergarteners did not get spots in their zoned schools. Some of the new assignments sent families to less-coveted schools just down the block. Others sent the 5- and 6-year-olds on treks as arduous as a nearly 3-mile hike from Sunset Park to Red Hook, in the case of four unlucky Brooklyn families.
September 21, 2010
Klein talks overcrowding, turnaround strategies in Queens
Chancellor Joel Klein addressed concerns about school overcrowding in Queens yesterday. (Photo via Queens borough president) Even with new school buildings and thousands of new seats, overcrowding has not abated in Queens schools, city council members complained last night. At a cabinet meeting of the Queen borough president, where Chancellor Klein dropped by to give a back-to-school update, council members said that the city is only using a tiny fraction of the roughly 4,000 new seats. Meanwhile, some nearby schools are bursting at the seams, they said. Klein's questioners included Council members Karen Koslowitz, Danny Dromm, Mark Weprin, and Jimmy Van Bramer, some of whom ran for office as skeptics of the chancellor's policies. Koslowitz said that while the new Metropolitan Avenue campus has about 2,000 seats, only about 400 students are currently enrolled. Meanwhile, the nearby Forest Hills High School has nearly twice as many students as it was intended to serve, she said.
April 12, 2010
Stringer calls on city to overhaul "chaotic" space planning
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer presents his report on overcrowding in Manhattan schools. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called today for an overhaul of the city's process for matching student demand to building space, charging that the city's current process is causing "chaos and uncertainty" for parents and students. Standing outside of the Upper West Side's P.S. 334, Stringer reported that more than four out of 10 Manhattan schools are either overcrowded or are losing classroom space as the city tries to cram more students into a finite number of school buildings. The report details what are by now familiar complaints about overcrowding in Manhattan schools, which have seen their population of young students boom in recent years without a corresponding addition of seats. But the bulk of remarks from Stringer and other elected officials this afternoon criticized the city for bumping schools from building to building, cramming students into classrooms and making decisions without giving confused parents adequate notice or opportunity to comment.
March 25, 2010
New elementary school planned as part of NYU expansion
A longed-for new elementary school for Greenwich Village families may open in an unexpected location — a new building on a greatly expanded New York University campus. NYU has committed to building a new 600-seat public elementary school as part of its plan to add 6 million square feet of space to its campus, the university announced today. The school offers a bright bargaining chip to NYU in its battle to expand its campus by 40 percent without alienating the neighboring community. Parents in the Village have complained about overstuffed classrooms and long wait-lists for neighborhood kindergarten seats. But Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who has been a fierce critic of how the city has handled Manhattan's school crowding problems, said he is confident that the plan is more than just an attractive ploy. "The school is now off the table," Stringer said. "It's happening." Still, many of the details — including where exactly the school will be located, when construction will start or even if the university's broader plan will be approved — remain up in the air.
February 24, 2010
Most crowded classes are in a handful of high schools, union says
The number of crowded classrooms has increased nearly ten-fold this year, but they're crammed into only 32 schools, according to a survey released by the teachers union today. Every spring semester, the union surveys its members to find the number of oversize classrooms — those that exceed the numbers of students outlined in the teachers contract — to see how many remain after the fall hearings on crowded classrooms are over. This year, union officials said there are 1,236 oversize high school classes in the city, but rather than being spread out among the schools in each borough, they're in 32 schools. At this time last year, there were 176 crowded high school classes in the city, the union's report states.
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