New York City activists expressed dissatisfaction with a Department of Education plan released Tuesday to fix socioeconomic and racial segregation in the city’s public schools.
The plan says that blacks and Hispanics make up 70 percent of students in NYC and that, for a school to be racially representative, it has to be between 50 and 90 percent black and Hispanic, according to Gothamist. Less than a third of NYC’s schools currently meet that standard.
NYC city council members Brad Lander and Ritchie Torres called it a “serious start to a decades-overdue effort” but complained that it did not use the words “integration” and “segregation.”
“We are sorry to see that the plan does not use the words ‘segregation’ and ‘integration,’ but instead sticks to the more anodyne ‘diversity,'” said the two councilmen. “We will not break the cycle of segregation if we cannot even name it.”
Jill Bloomberg, the principal of Park Slope Collegiate School, also called out the Department of Education for not using the word “segregation.”
“Integration is a policy specifically designed to fight racist inequity,” said Bloomberg. “The goal should not be to add diversity as another benefit for a select group of students. Our goal should be to create schools so there is no school in the system that parents wouldn’t want to send their kids to.”
Parents like Maia Gelman, a member of NYC Public School Parents for Equity and Desegregation, are also taking action. Gelman wants an even distribution of rich and poor students, special needs students, and students learning English each school district.
“Relying on [traditional] zoning isn’t going to get you there,” said Gelman. “When there’s a district that’s super segregated, having a few schools that are diversified pushes segregation out into different schools.”
NYC will create a “School Diversity Advisory Group” that reviews integration efforts, per the Department of Education’s plan.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Lander and Ritchie for comment, but received none in time for publication.
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