What to Know as N.Y.C. Goes Back to School

Tuesday: Public schools open this week, and all eyes will be on the city's gifted programs.

Comments: 10

  1. It's too bad that paper schedules are being removed from bus stops. Not all of us have smart phones to check the time of the next bus. While electronic schedules are being installed in subways, us poor bus riders are losing an important way to make the trip more amenable.

  2. @lucky13 I was thinking the same thing. Cell phones seem ubiquitous, but in actuality, not everyone has one. I've seen bus shelters that provide electronic updates, why isn't the City installing them if it's going to remove the paper schedules?

  3. Is it any solace that the buses never follow the printed schedule anyway?

  4. @lucky13 Ha, my flip phone is not going to help me much either. I'm accepting that technology moves on, but it does not seem to be doing so naturally, organically. Those that have a vested interest in saving $ by using technology are driving it forward. Many are ahead of their skiis, but feel emboldened to go ahead without any concern for the 10-20% who are not high tech. I went to Target last week and tried to buy something with cash (office candy, It' a shame that a 69 year old male is afraid of his wife seeing a debit card receipt, lol) and I was unable to do so until I went to the customer service counter with my purchase. The register/check-out clerks have been dumped. When she saw cash, she looked at me twice, probably thinking that I must be s drug dealer, as no one else carries cash! Soon debit cards themselves will be out, as we will be expected to tap or point a smart phone at a sensor.

  5. Everyone wants to see the New York City public schools improved, with special emphasis on the performance of Black and Latinx students. But I fear the Times is going to take a misguided approach to the issue, as happened earlier this year with the Mayor's proposal to eliminate the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. Many of the recommendations by the School Diversity Advisory Group, as recently endorsed by the Times's Editorial Board, don't make any sense. For example, the group says that it shouldn't matter for inclusion in Gifted programs if students are absent more than five days a year. 75% of Black and Latinx students fall in that category, which is shocking. Serious truancy can be an indicator of many serious problems. What is certain is that having some children miss that much school will slow the progress of a class. Yet instead of specifically exploring why truancy is a problem, the group simply wants to pretend it doesn't matter. Finally, as I've said before, there is a difference between "segregation" and a lack of diversity. Neither is good, but segregation indicates a deliberate exclusion that does not exist in NYC. The lack of diversity is caused in part by complex residential housing patterns and Whites leaving the school system or the City. The Specialized High Schools are majority Asian, and they are a minority group and many are low-income. The Times should not use "segregation" to describe this situation.

  6. @Lifelong Reader, regarding "there is a difference between "segregation" and a lack of diversity." - wow, thanks for that. It never occurred to me that segregation carried intent with it, but I now see googling the usage that you're right. Is this difference part of it, maybe: Someone who intentionally segregates and the result is lack of diversity may resist attempts to fix the problem, as they got the result they wanted. Someone whose actions accidentally result in lack of diversity would likely be more receptive to fix it when the unintentional result is pointed out. This is an employment situation, but last year when this unintentional lack of diversity in Radio City employment by the Rockettes was brought up at holiday time 2018 in the "Big City" column https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/30/nyregion/the-rockettes-and-race-a-very-white-christmas.html lots of people said why bring this uncheery issue up at cheery holiday time. Yet since last winter, once the season was over, little has been publicly covered about what is being done for this coming Christmas show, which they're now getting seats on sale for. It sounds like a "dance" issue, but really involves employment opportunities and with seats mostly going for over $100 for two months, large financial stakes. This is a group known for uniformity based on height, body shape, as a conception of its art. Hoping it was fixed without glare on it - but the "look" remains part of the selection process.

  7. "Segregation has been a longtime problem in the city’s schools. " Not for nothing, but the NYT seems to have accepted that the NY School system is segregated, rather then it being a byproduct of financially separated neighborhoods. The statement above is presented as being factual. Perhaps I'm naïve, but I cannot imagine school officials enrolling students based on race or gender. Isn't it based on location, enrolling students from that local school district?

  8. @Billy from Brooklyn Unfortunately, the Editorial Board tends to view these matters through an extremely narrow lens and to rely on assertions without substantiation. For example, three-quarters of Black and Latinx students miss five or more days of school, an astonishing number. According to the Editorial Board, "That’s a snapshot of the grinding, generational poverty they face." Not necessarily. I grew up in a poor neighborhood. Most parents managed to get their kids to school every day. Perhaps there are other reasons that also need exploring. The wrong focus on problems is as bad as no focus at all.

  9. Why is Eric Adams insisting that the gunning down of a 50-year-old woman on Newkirk Avenue and East 23rd Street early Monday morning had nothing to do with J'Ouvert when in fact she was at a J'Ouvert barbecue at 2AM? She stepped in to defend her brother, who'd had a quarrel with the gunman. No one ever says, This shooting is in honor of J'Ouvert. It's always something else.

  10. Good luck with the "Wild, Wild West" of Central Park when it comes to enforcing better bike and pedestrian rules. Anybody who goes there with any kind of regularity will be able to tell you that it's nothing short of a near-death experience when trying to cross the road with a gaggle of high-speed racers on expensive bikes bearing down on you. They don't slow down. They never stop. And they don't look back.