You Told Us is a regular feature highlighting comments from users in the communities DNAinfo covers.
UPPER WEST SIDE — An alternative way of determining where elementary school students go to school, called controlled choice, could be one way of solving racial and economic segregation in District 3, leaders and residents have said.
But others argue this isn't the right path for neighborhood schools.
Under controlled choice, zoning lines that map where students will go to school would be dissolved in favor of an algorithm that uses factors like socioeconomic status, race and special needs. One of those factors could be a students' proximity to a school, as a way of preventing long commutes.
Some readers reacted strongly against the idea:
► "Schools should ALWAYS be zoned. Want a better school? Move and pay for it, just like everyone else has to do," said a Neighborhood Square commenter.
► "Schools are segregated because the neighborhoods are segregated. Until that is addressed, nothing will change. Busing 5 year olds is NOT the answer" added a Facebook commenter.
► "I don't see that Control Choice would work. Yes, it would help with crowded schools, but at the end it's about qualities of the teachers and principals. Why don't they try to move the teachers and principals from good schools uptown, and see that would create better schools there," said a Neighborhood Square commenter.
Other readers said controlled choice was a good solution and called for action in addressing diversity:
► "Whether it's controlled choice or something else, they have to do something. NYC has the most segregated schools in the country and District 3 is among the worst," said a Neighborhood Square commenter.
► "The schools are segregated. It's a vicious cycle...The district 3 magnet grant was meant for that but only made a small difference. We need to keep trying! The UWS needs to lead as an example to the rest of the city," another Neighborhood Square commenter wrote.
Some readers wanted more details on a possible plan:
► "I honestly don't know how anyone can even have an opinion on controlled choice. The task force report provides no details on how it would work in District 3. It is just full of warm fuzzy statements about the benefits of diversity with no hard data showing how it is going to impact the schools or our children's educations," said a Neighborhood Square commenter.