Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How Bloomberg/Klein Undermined a Voluntary Integration Program on the Lower East Side

Lisa Donlan has been telling the story for many years. Now this recent report condemning the NYC school system as one of the most segregated in the nation validates what Lisa has been reporting. This is from Community Education Council 1 on the LES.
Below are captions from NYS segregation report talking specifically about District One:


p 22

A district-wide voluntary integration program, consisting of the elimination of school zoning and employment of diversity-based lotteries for oversubscribed schools, was implemented in CSD 1 in 1989 and approved by the Board of Education shortly after.

Today, New York City public school system is, by far, the largest in the country, with racial enrollment varying greatly across schools and CSDs. Despite this diversity, prior voluntary integration initiatives have slowly declined, transformed, or been eliminated over the years, as more color-blind and market-based educational policies and programs have stepped into place. As a result, this city has failed to address student racial isolation, support the pursuit of diversity efforts and integration initiatives, and possibly increased school segregation across the city.

page 24

After Bloomberg centralized the Department of Education in 2003, the department’s central admission office began to replace the quota system being used in CSD 1 with a blind-lottery system.

In 2007, the same year of the Parents Involved ruling, the diversity-based preference system completely ended and has yet to be reinstated or modified (e.g., using set asides for free and reduced lunch students or English language learners) despite continual community requests and increases in school racial isolation.76 Around the same time, the DOE told individual schools that they could no longer give preference to low-income students.

Failure to address student diversity not only influences racial and socioeconomic segregation, but also can impact students’ educational opportunities and outcomes. For example, a recent Schott Foundation report showed the drastic disparity by race for students across New York City CSDs on opportunity to learn conditions: the opportunity to attend a high-performing school in the district, the opportunity to be taught by an experienced and highly educated teacher, and the opportunity to be tested for Gifted and Talented eligibility in kindergarten.77

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a quota system to me and that's unacceptable. There has to be a better and fairer way to integrate the schools than a quota system which the Supreme Court ruled is illegal.


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