Press Release: Community Advocates Respond to DOE Pilot at 7 Schools: District-Wide Plans Needed to End Segregation & Inequality

Sharing a press release from a group of education advocates that #BarrioEdProj works with. See below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Ujju Aggarwal, ujvil@hotmail.com
Donna Nevel,  denevel@gmail.com

November 30, 2015, New York City

Community Advocates Respond to DOE Pilot at 7 Schools:
District-Wide Plans Needed to End Segregation & Inequality

We are advocates for educational justice who have been working in and with Community School Districts 1, 3, and 13 for several years to promote admission policies that will desegregate our school system. We learned this past week of the DOE’s admissions pilot at seven schools. We appreciate that the principals of these schools want to increase diversity in their school communities. Yet, we are concerned that the NYC DOE plan fails to address more systemic issues of segregation and inequality in New York City public schools. In a school system of 1,800 schools, the third most segregated in the entire nation, we believe that adding diversity to seven schools fails to address the larger issues we are facing.

We believe there are ways to move forward to begin to tackle segregation and inequality in our school system in a more systemic manner. We have been calling for the City to look seriously at a Controlled Choice system of admissions—which is in fact designed to be a district-wide (not single school) plan that responds to systemic inequality. Controlled Choice is a policy framework that has been used since the 1980s to successfully desegregate school districts across the nation.

By looking beyond one or two individual schools, Controlled Choice presents the opportunity to make sure that all of our public schools reflect the larger demographics of our school districts and that all students and families have fair and equitable access to our public schools.

Further, Controlled Choice also presents a way to address the current overcrowding crises facing several school districts across the city as well as a growing trend in public education more broadly: the joint process of the closing of historically under-resourced public schools and the creation of charter schools. Because a key point of a Controlled Choice policy framework is broad community-investment in all schools, no schools get too under-enrolled or over-enrolled. Controlled Choice also ensures that the community is at the center of the application and enrollment process.

We understand our city to be in a crisis of inequality and segregation, one that has devastating impacts for our present and future generations. Segregated schools are the result of policies that we enact and allow to continue. We believe we can do better, for our city and for all our children. We will continue to fight for a system that is based on equitable admission policies for all.

 

Signatories:

CEC District 1 Admissions Committee
Ed Brown, first VP, CEC District 13
District 3 Equity in Education Task Force
Wendy Lecker, Senior Attorney, Education Law Center
Alan Levine, Special Counsel, LatinoJustice*

*for identification purposes

Link to PDF

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