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Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Yikes, the Pre-K letters are coming in and from the anecdotal evidence on the yahoo neighborhood groups there are some in-zone families with siblings that are not getting their placements. This may be an indication of errors in the system. Just in case this isn't a limited problem, I have listed a couple of contacts here to try and get answers. It would also be helpful to know when families start receiving acceptance letters.

If you need questions answered about an acceptance or rejection letter, call the DOE Central Enrollment Office (I visited the District Office this morning, Tues. 27 and they gave me this number to call)
212 374-2363
or contact,
Debbie McCabe, Family Advocate for District 15
email her at
she is compiling a list of families with Pre-K rejection issues
Martine Guerrier, Chief Family Engagement Officer
212 374-6857

If you think that there is something wrong with your rejection letter, i.e. you are an in-zone family with siblings in a school that has several Pre-K classes, or you are not getting your questions answered by the DOE's Central or District Enrollment Office call the Office of the Public Advocate. She has the clout and the will to get to the bottom of the situation.
212 669-7250

There are new unconfirmed reports from the yahoo groups. Parents that contacted the Enrollment Office this afternoon said that if you come to the Office on or after June 23 you can receive an informational booklet that will contain a list of schools with remaining available seats and a new application. The new application will have a due date to go through the process all over for the remaining open seats.

keep checking my blog and for updates


Anonymous said...

corrected email address: (the 's' in schools is missing in the post)

Kate Yourke said...

I think the screw-up of the pre-K sibling preference reflects a larger problem with the direction the DoE has taken and the values that direction demonstrates.

The pre-K admissions were subcontracted out, supposedly to avoid confusion and be more equitable. So much of the work this administration has undertaken, all the testing and data entry and analysis, has been subcontracted to private companies. I hear these are no-bid contracts. This a huge investment of public funds, while schools are dealing with budget cuts. Will the extra money from the Campaign for Fiscal Equity ever reach the classroom?

With the obviously shabby work the company in PA has done, making a mess of the new pre-K admission policy, what confidence should we have in the quality of work done by the companies handling these ever-more-important tests and assessments? This testing is driving the philosophy and the work of education, even beyond what is required by No Child Left Behind.

Behind these decisions is a deeply held mistrust of schools and communities, an assumption of incompetence, inefficiency, and corruption. There is historical precedent to support this attitude. But there is also a history (hello, Halliburton!) of incompetence and corruption when private subcontractors are hired with no-bid contracts to perform the responsibilities of the public sector. Where is the accountability for the poor work done by the Willow Brook, PA data processing center, hired to place our 4-year olds in their first public school? Was this a no-bid contract? How much of our precious education money was spent on this "improvement?" The growth of charter schools is another mechanism by which private interests are entrusted with public money. These schools are not accountable to the DoE, are not overseen by the District Superintendent, the CEC, or any other public accountability mechanism. Should non-educators be entrusted to manage the education of our children?

As the DoE hopefully finds ways to address at least this most recent error, the automatic rejection of legitimate sibling preference in pre-K assignments, I hope it will illuminate the larger issues and restore a structure of accountability to the NYC education system.

Kate Yourke
(parent of pre-K child assigned to school other than zoned school where sibling attends, D14)