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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Some of New York City Schools are The Most Segregated in the United States.

All you have to do is read the first sentence in the Chalkbeat article posted below, to know whether the Mayor and Chancellor of NYC have succeeded in their mandate to provide a free and appropriate public school education to kids in the New York City school district. They have failed. ,,,,,,at least to the most vulnerable, the poor, and black/hispanic/other children. New York City schools are the most segregated in the United States.

Shame on both of you. Do something big, now. Make a difference.

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

NYC middle schools, pre-Ks meet diversity targets — and more high schools join initiative to spur integration
By Christina Veiga         @CVEIGA         CVEIGA@CHALKBEAT.ORG    
New York City middle schools participating in an admissions program designed to encourage integration met their targets in making offers to incoming students, Chalkbeat has learned.
Additionally, two more high schools will join the Diversity in Admissions pilot, bringing the total to 21 participating schools — still a tiny fraction of the roughly 1,800 schools across the city.
This is the third school year that principals could apply to the program, which allows schools to set aside a percentage of seats for students who meet certain criteria, such as qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch, which is often used as a measure of poverty. In some schools, only a sliver of seats are set aside; at others, it’s more than half.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña have come under increasing pressure to spur integration in city schools, which are some of the most segregated in the country. While the education department has been eager to tout the Diversity in Admissions program, many activists have criticized the approach as piecemeal, calling instead for wider-scale approaches. The city has promised a broader plan by June, and the chancellor recently hinted that changes to high school admissions could be a part of the proposal.
The four middle schools in the diversity program all met — or surpassed — their set-aside targets in making offers to incoming students, according to data provided by the education department. However, it’s not guaranteed that all students who are offered admission will actually enroll.
Two of the participating middle schools are in Brooklyn’s District 15, where parents and Councilman Brad Lander have called for enrollment changes. At M.S. 839, 42 percent of offers went to students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. At the Math & Science Exploratory School, 30 percent of offers did.
Two high schools will join the Diversity in Admissions program for the 2017-18 enrollment cycle: Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design in Brooklyn, and Academy for Careers in Television and Film in Queens. Both will set aside 63 percent of seats for students who qualify for free lunch — a higher threshold of need. Currently, 83 percent of students at Williamsburg High School qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (rates for only free lunch were not immediately available). Only about 50 percent of students at Academy for Careers in Television and Film qualify for free lunch, according to Principal Edgar Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said he has seen the school’s population slowly change since it opened almost a decade ago. Television and Film was a Title I school when it launched, meaning enough students were poor to qualify for additional federal funding. The school has since lost that status, and Rodriguez said joining the Diversity in Admission pilot will help preserve economic diversity.
“We work very hard, in the four years we have students with us, to provide them a space that gives them a sense of the real world,” he said. “The school is already diverse as it is, and I think ensuring the diversity continues, and that it’s sustained over time and deepened, just enhances that experience overall.”
The education department also shared offer information for nine pre-K sites in the Diversity in Admissions program.
Most pre-Ks in the diversity program met their offer targets, except for the Castle Bridge School in Washington Heights. The school aimed to make 10 percent of offers to students who have incarcerated parents, but the school wasn’t able to make any offers based on the students who applied and priority status given to other students.
A recent report by The Century Foundation found that the city’s pre-Ks are more segregated than kindergarten classrooms. Testifying recently at a state budget hearing, Fariña seemed to chalk that up to parent choice.
“I, as a parent, am not going to be running to another part [of the city]. So it’s a matter [of] applying,” she said. “This is parent choice — the same way you can go to private school, parochial school, charter school, you can go to any pre-K.”

Confronting Segregation in New York City Schools Despite its polychromatic diversity, New York City has one of most deeply segregated school systems in the nation. When asked about this last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio dodged by saying that the schools are a reflection of historical housing patterns, and, “We cannot change the basic reality of housing in New York City.

Segregation in the city’s schools cannot be dismissed as an unsolvable problem. And though housing plays a role, decades-old educational policies have reinforced inequality and placed many low-income black and brown children on the road to second-class citizenship.

The Times’s Elizabeth A. Harris and Ford Fessenden made that clear last week in “The Broken Promises of Choice in New York City Schools,” an investigation of how a school choice initiative actually traps many low-income children in an inferior system-within-a-system.

Created during the mayoralty of Michael Bloomberg, New York’s choice system frees eighth graders who once would have attended their neighborhood high schools to apply anywhere in the city. But many of the most desirable high schools seem to have washed their hands of all but the best-prepared students by basing admission on auditions, or scores on a one-day, high-stakes test, or top performance on statewide exams, or portfolios of middle school work. Others apply vague entrance criteria that leave a room for arbitrariness.

By eighth grade, however, many low-income black and Hispanic children who have spent their early grades confined to failing schools — and passed through similarly poor middle schools — have already fallen too far behind in the competition for the high schools that could prepare them for college.

In some cases, for example, middle school students may not have taken courses necessary for entry and may not have the work samples to submit because teachers were unaware that they were supposed to preserve them. And low-income children who might qualify for admission are often defeated by a byzantine application process that wealthier parents navigate with paid consultants.

The choice system was constructed not for the poor, but to keep white middle-class families invested in the public schools. Even some who supported the strategy 20 years ago, though, now recognize that it promotes class segregation and presents enormous obstacles to vulnerable families. As The Times article points out, the racial isolation of black and Hispanic students is just as great in high school as in elementary schools, evidence that the choice system is failing.

Eric Nadelstern, a professor at Teachers College at Columbia University, who served as the deputy schools chancellor during the Bloomberg years, believes that efforts to retain the middle class at the expense of the poor were a critical mistake that reinforced racial isolation.

He recently proposed that the city get rid of the school entrance requirement system in favor of one that allows children to apply to any school in any area, with all admissions decided by lotteries. Others favor a less extreme version of this idea, under which schools would expand diversity — and promote upward mobility — by accepting children with a broader range of academic preparation.

Beyond that, critics argue that Mr. de Blasio should take a more urgent approach to remaking schools that continue to fail low-income black and Latino students. That means strengthening the teacher corps where possible and replacing it where necessary.

These changes are unlikely, with a mayor who is running for office and eager to keep the peace with both the teachers union and middle-class voters. But none of this alters the fundamental truth that New York City’s school choice system is tilted toward the wealthy and offers no real choice for the poor.

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