New York’s schools are highly segregated — by race, class, and academic achievement. This year, city officials began to heed the call from parents and advocates to make changes, but their efforts were rocky and far from comprehensive.
From successful strides toward integration to thwarted efforts to inequities that are only just starting to get attention, here’s where New York stands in the struggle to integrate schools.
When our dream school had no space for my son, I panicked. Then I confronted prejudice I didn’t know I had
“Even before my children were born, I spent hours envisioning them in a kindergarten classroom, smelling of crayons, Tempera paint, and Elmer’s glue. Little scissors, blocks, and dress-up clothes completed the Norman Rockwell picture.”
Why some New York City high schools that were designed to be diverse aren’t
“Last year, fewer than a half-dozen of the school’s 151 freshmen had passed the state English tests in eighth grade, according to newly released education department data. And the lack of academic diversity is matched by the school’s racial breakdown: 90 percent of students are black or Hispanic, while just 2 percent are white.”
Brooklyn’s middle schools are highly segregated — but they don’t have to be. How a series of choices has deepened the divide
“Many people, including Mayor de Blasio, point to segregated neighborhoods as the cause of separate schools. In fact, many of the city’s school zones and districts encompass a mix of families.”
Five New York City school districts putting integration on the map
“In some Lower East Side schools today, 100 percent of students are low-income; in others, only about 20 percent are. That’s compared to a poverty rate of 69 percent district-wide. But the area includes a rich mix of students: 21 percent Asian, 17 percent black, 42 percent Hispanic and 17 percent white, according to city figures.”
Under pressure from advocates, city inches toward district-wide integration plan
“Top New York City education department officials are exploring a plan to more evenly spread low-income students and their affluent peers across a Manhattan school district. If approved, experts say it would represent the city’s first district-wide desegregation plan in decades.”
City’s latest plan to rezone Upper West Side schools takes aim at segregation, but some say it’s not enough
“The latest plan, which would redistribute the students who live in a public-housing development among three schools, provides a clear sign that the city is paying new attention to the extensive race and class segregation among its schools.”
Great divide: How extreme academic segregation isolates students in New York City’s high schools
“A Chalkbeat analysis found that over half the students who took and passed the eighth-grade state math exam in 2015 wound up clustered in less than 8 percent of city high schools. The same was true for those who passed the English exam.”
Check out all of our 2016 Year In Review coverage here. Like what you see? Make a tax-deductible donation to Chalkbeat today to help support our work in 2017 and beyond.