Monday, November 06, 2006

Skata Nafas DOE

Kudos to the Grand Street News for pursuing this story. 184 has political (Republican)
clout and though racism plays a part, it's more "classist" in the sense that the have$ have more say in the decision making process. The taxpayers lose too, because a whole building has to be converted to accomodate special ed kids (elevators) while the old 137 building already had elevators. Plus: No way that 184 has 12 percent combined black an hispanic. Dual language is just a scam to exclude other groups.
"In granting Shuang Wen its own building, some argue that the DOE is giving it special treatment because of a few key advantages the school has. Shuang Wen is about 80 percent Asian, with about 12 percent combined African American and Hispanic, according to the DOE website. In contrast, PS 134 is close to 79 percent African American and Hispanic combined, and PS 137 about 90 percent. To parents, it seemed like the Chinese were being handed their own school at the expense of others. "I don't want to be racist, but I don't think it's fair," said Moses Brown, who has a son in third grade at PS 137. "I mean, a whole building? Everyone feels that way." Shuang Wen also tests considerably better than the other schools, with the percentage of its students meeting city and state test standards in 2005 well above city averages. PS 134 and PS 137 each tested below those averages last year. A third factor benefiting Shuang Wen is funding. In 2004, media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation donated $500,000 to the school, stressing the importance of dual language learning with Chinese. Parents from PS 137 contend that Shuang Wen is more hooked up politically and financially than their school. But officials counter that PS 137's relocation was a numbers game, plain and simple. With three schools and two buildings, the Department of Education characterized the arrangement as simple economics."
Here's a link to the entire article

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