Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"At public schools all parents have the same choices, supposedly," Barnwell added. "But ours are false choices."READ MORE

Monday, June 13, 2016

It's no secret that the New York City public schools are deeply segregated. Throughout the five boroughs, most black and Latino students attend schools where they are the overwhelming majority, according to both a much-cited 2014 UCLA study and more current city data. Beyond the social implications of racial and ethnic segregation, there is inequity: most of the predominantly black and Latino schools have high concentrations of low-income students, fewer highly qualified teachers and lower test scores.
In recent years, pockets of New Yorkers have proposed new solutions to counteract the divides that have gotten worse in the last decade...
Of the ideas concerned with changing school admission rules, the most ambitious involves an entire school district, District 1, which includes the East Village, part of Chinatown and the Lower East Side...
Parent leaders in District 1 are hoping to win approval from Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to try a new form of admissions. Their goal is to prevent schools from enrolling too many poor and at-risk children, by bringing in kids from higher income levels, too. Various studies have shown kids from low-income families do better academically when they're mixed with wealthier peers.
To accomplish this, District 1 has proposed an admissions system called controlled choice that's still being finalized. It's been used in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as other cities around the country. Parents rank their preferred schools. The city would then consider whether their children qualify for free or reduced priced lunch when assigning incoming kindergarten students to every school. Read More

Integration was transformative for my husband and me. Yet the idea of placing our daughter in one of the small number of integrated schools troubled me. These schools are disproportionately white and serve the middle and upper middle classes, with a smattering of poor black and Latino students to create “diversity.”
In a city where white children are only 15 percent of the more than one million public-school students, half of them are clustered in just 11 percent of the schools, which not coincidentally include many of the city’s top performers. Part of what makes those schools desirable to white parents, aside from the academics, is that they have some students of color, but not too many. This carefully curated integration, the kind that allows many white parents to boast that their children’s public schools look like the United Nations, comes at a steep cost for the rest of the city’s black and Latino children. Read More
The Upper West Side is a district of stark class divisions: While less than 10 percent of the students at some middle schools come from low-income families, nearly 100 percent do at others.
But now, the local superintendent has a proposal meant to narrow the divides in District 3, which also includes southern Harlem.
The plan, which Superintendent Ilene Altschul has recently floated to some principals and the district’s education council, is for each middle school to enroll at least 30 percent low-income students.  Read More
It started as a fairly simple proposition: There were two schools on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, one overcrowded, the other underused. The city’s Education Department proposed to redraw the schools’ attendance zone so that some blocks assigned to the crowded school would be shifted to the emptier one.
But while most of the children at the crowded school, Public School 199, are middle class and white, most of the children at the other school, P.S. 191, are poor, and black or Hispanic. Read More