Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised a “bigger vision” to address segregation in New York City schools, but officials have thus far kept details under wraps.
But they’ve been dribbling out some details, most notably a timeline for when a large-scale plan could be released. Officials at a town hall discussion in Brooklyn Thursday night reiterated that a plan would likely be released by June.
We’re “going to propose some new thinking that we have, both about some of the systems that we run and about ways that we can work together locally to make change,” said Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack, who is heading the department’s diversity efforts. “We expect it to come out by the end of the school year.”
BRIC TV host Brian Vines, who moderated the panel co-produced with WNYC, pushed for details. “Is there any one thing that you can at least give us a hint at that’s a concrete measure?” he asked.
But Wallack didn’t take the bait. “What I will say is that we are actually still engaged in conversations like this one, trying to get good ideas about how to move forward,” he said, adding that the education department is talking with educators, parents and schools interested in the issue.
New York City officials have been under pressure to address school segregation after a 2014 report called its schools some of the most racially divided in the country. More recently, debates over how best to change zone lines around schools on the Upper West Side and in Brooklyn have grown heated.
“We have a lot of hard work to do,” Wallack said. “But the mayor and chancellor are deeply committed to that work and to working with all of you to make that happen.”
Correction (Dec. 2, 2016): This story has been corrected to reflect that the town hall event was not the first time officials had described a timeline for releasing a plan.