Friday, November 26, 2010

When a locally zoned school isn't local

From the Queens Tribune:

Not even a full semester has passed, and Forest Hills’ Metropolitan Avenue Campus has garnered a touch of negative attention.

Neighborhood leaders are concerned over enrollment numbers at the $158 million education facility’s high school, which they say do not meet promises that at least half of the kids would be from Forest Hills.

The locally-zoned school’s first 250-freshmen class was originally slated to be split evenly between kids from Districts 24 and 28. But according to Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), a lack of outreach and apprehension has left the school’s first class with a glut of Glendale students, while Forest Hills kids make up less than half of the overall student body.

“I was disappointed in the amount of kids that came from Forest Hills,” Koslowitz said. “It was supposed to be 125-125. It wasn’t like that at all.”

The Dept. of Education did not respond to requests for comment and Koslowitz said they refuse to provide exact figures about the class’s makeup.

The school’s freshman class is also significantly higher than the originally planned 250. After murmurs about empty seats in the school’s newly-constructed building, the DOE bumped up enrollment, eventually expanding it for local kids and, according to some, kids across the entire borough. According to Koslowitz, the additional students increased the school’s pioneer class to close to 400 – a figure the DOE was not available to confirm.

Koslowitz said a large chunk of potential Forest Hills students were instead slotted for other local schools due to an application snafu. Kids and parents were given the option of ranking their preferred high schools, and Koslowitz believes many students and parents opted to put the Metro Campus second.

You mean DOE and SCA lied in order to get this built? How utterly shocking!


Sarah said...

Here is an old Indian saying:
Vote me in office once and I screw you, shame on me. Keep voting for me again and again and you’re an asshole deserving everything you get.

Anonymous said...

MY school district is better than YOURS!

Didn't you know that?

Anonymous said...

Legally, any student from the boroughs can attend any NYC high school. Shame on parents for not checking the laws and, and most of all, for believe the most corrupt organization in New York -- the Department of Education!

Anonymous said...

Looks like Karen Koslowitz didn't do her homework. If she did she would have found that a sizeable percentage of students at the new high school were to have come from outside Forest Hills, and 10% were to be special ed/"600 school" students.

Already property values in the area of the school (south of Metropolitan) have taken a nosedive, while those north of Metropolitan have rebounded. That's what happens when you bring troublemakers from outside in.

Anonymous said...

MY school district is better than YOURS!

Mine's bigger!

Anonymous said...

This school is IN FACT locally zoned. The zoning lines were drawn such that if every 8th grade student in the zone applied, they would be accepted. Since the school can only fit 250 students per grade, the zoning lines were drawn VERY locally. Obviously not all the students who live in the zone want to go to this school, instead opting for Catholic or private high schools, selective high schools or established high schools with programs of interest to them. Consequently, once all the locallly zoned students were accepted and the 9th grade not yet full, enrollment was opened up to students who live anywhere in Queens. The reason that 400+ students were accepted for the first class in September of 2010 was because to admit only 250 would have left the school 75% empty - and that would have been unconscionable in a borough with as much high school overcrowding as Queens. Next year, the DOE plans to admit 250 9th graders and when this current class of 400 reaches 12th grade, there will still be room for them in this complex because the other school, a 6-12th grade, will not have all its grades established yet.