An elected parents committee has voted to approve a proposal remapping school zones on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, after 25 meetings in two years were held in an attempt to reduce overcrowding and promote racial integration.
However, the vote to ratify the new map drawn by the Education Department is unlikely to end the controversies over boundaries or segregated schools, the New York Times reported.
The new District 3 zones include a large number of schools with overwhelmingly black and Hispanic student bodies and only a small number of schools populated with mostly white students.
The approved plan redraws zones for 11 elementary schools from West 59th Street to West 116th Street.
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Among the schools that would be affected—and the subject of much debate—is P.S. 199. The zone for the high-achieving and overcrowded West 70th Street school would decrease, and two of the six buildings in the Lincoln Tower complex would be reassigned to P.S. 191, which is expected to move to a new facility.
Mostly black and Hispanic students attend P.S. 191, and 7 percent of its students passed state math tests, while 24 percent passed English language arts. Comparatively, P.S. 199 is mostly white, with 85 and 82 percent of students passing math and language arts, respectively.
The plan also moves P.S. 452, which has a mostly white student body, 16 blocks south to West 61st Street into the building that now houses P.S. 191. The move was supported by the school’s principal and staff, who argued the school will be able to flourish and diversify in a larger space. Many parents opposed the move, saying it lengthens the commute for their students.