Our statement on the School Diversity Advisory Group report
February 12, 2019
The NYC Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation (nycASID) recognizes the promising first steps taken by the School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG) in its initial recommendations released today, but calls for much bolder action to dismantle the systemic barriers perpetuating school segregation in New York City. We are proud that SDAG adopted many of the recommendations from our June 2018 Policy Platform, particularly the embrace of the “5 Rs of Real Integration” framework developed by IntegrateNYC, and the call for a Chief Integration Officer. We also support the call for culturally responsive practices and ethnic studies for all students, and the use of a diversity score in evaluating all schools. The City must act immediately to implement these important components of a comprehensive effort towards integration. Unfortunately though, these efforts will fall flat unless SDAG and the City address student assignment system-wide, and fully adopt the nycASID desegregation framework and the 5 R’s as a whole.
Although we applaud SDAG’s reference to more ambitious short, medium and long term integration goals by requiring district, borough and then city-wide integration plans, these will only be effective if the City develops powerful metrics for defining integration. The SDAG report crucially also does not address features of student assignment in NYC that disproportionately reward white and privileged students regardless of merit or ability, such as redlined school district and zone boundaries. It also does not raise the impact of school choice on racial isolation, and ignores the call for the comprehensive equity resource audit we and others recommend to begin to balance resources between schools. SDAG’s subsequent report will address the problematic gifted and talented model used in the city, exclusionary and inappropriate middle school screening, and the overly burdensome and subjective high school application process; we hope to see robust and powerful recommendations on these issues, consistent with the nycASID framework.
Our statement on the district 15 middle school diversity plan
June 26, 2018
The NYC Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation applauds efforts by the D15 Diversity Plan Working Group and School Community to create diverse and meaningfully integrated middle schools in D15. We especially support the elimination of academically selective and segregative school screens, as well as the prioritization of 50% of seats to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch (FRL), are English Language Learners (ELLs), and/or are Students in Temporary Housing. This plan is the result of deep investment from D15 community members, Superintendent Anita Skop, the DOE, and an inclusive community engagement process led by WXY Studios. This process is deeply aligned with the priorities articulated in our recent Policy Proposal for Citywide Integration. We hope the D15 plan can serve as a model for other community school districts pursuing Real Integration.
Our statement on the district 3 middle School Diversity Plan
June 26, 2018
The NYC Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation applauds efforts of the District 3 leadership and community to disrupt the persistence of segregation in their middle schools. We believe the implementation plan as outlined is smart. However, we are concerned with a number of specific components of this proposal, mainly, the 25% priority of students who qualify for FRL, which is well below the district average, as well as the maintenance of selective admissions methods (screens) which are the primary driver of segregation in the district. We encourage D3 leadership and community members to continue engaging all stakeholders in D3, and look to the community engagement process that has unfolded in CSD 15, which has been very inclusive, and has led to very bold recommendations. This process has created space for critical conversations about race, class, and difference among community members, and could benefit the D3 community. Additionally, we offer the nycASID Policy Proposal as a guiding document for Real Integration. We are hopeful this plan is just the first step, and are committed to supporting the D3 community in realizing its goals.
Our statement on Mayor De Blasio's plan on specialized high school admissions
June 13, 2018
nycASID applauds and welcomes the Mayor's and the Chancellor's moral leadership on the issue of school segregation. However, while admissions to specialized high schools clearly needs to be addressed, we must remember that it is one of many system-wide and external factors that keep NYC schools highly segregated. Residential housing patterns contribute to school segregation, but redlined zones, discriminatory enrollment screens, and overly complicated and competitive admissions processes also have a significant impact.
nycASID continues to advocate for a community-driven process to drive reform, such as the one underway through the School Diversity Advisory Group, its Town Hall meetings, and the D15 Middle School reform efforts. However, these efforts must be coupled with strong DOE leadership and a bold vision for addressing the root causes of segregation across our whole system.
nycASID has laid out a framework for tackling these root causes, which we encourage the DOE to consider seriously.
nycASID's advocacy goal for Summer 2018 is that the Mayor and Chancellor will prioritize immediate actions that can support integration across all levels of education.
First among these actions is to appoint a Deputy Chancellor of Integration and Equity, who will open the Office of School Integration and Equity (OSIE) and begin the process of:
A. Removing citywide admissions policies known to be segregative in favor of those designed to promote equity and real integration, consistent with community input and established legal principles.
B. Expanding annual Diversity Accountability Act Reports to include data on applicants to any screened/special programs that remain.
C. Conducting a Citywide School Equity Assessment to identify and address areas where schools are vastly under-resourced in everything from facilities to materials to high quality teachers and class size.
D. Implementing initiatives for culturally responsive education, restorative justice, and increasing faculty diversity.
E. Supporting all schools to support all students, by adopting research based methods of providing effective differentiation for a range of learners.
nycASID calls on the City to continue engaging the community in developing ambitious goals and benchmarks towards integrating its schools. These efforts should align with IntegrateNYC's 5 R's of Real Integration (Race and Enrollment, Resource Allocation, Relationships, Representation, Restorative Justice).
We encourage all to attend and participate in the upcoming School Diversity Town Hall on Thursday, June 21 from 6:30pm-8:30pm, at Frederick Douglas Academy, 2581 7th Avenue, Manhattan. For more information and to register, go here.
The mission of nycASID is to advocate for racial and socioeconomic city-wide school desegregation and integration as a means to:
Uprooting white supremacy,
Preserving and spreading the rich culture of marginalized communities, and
Upholding the principles of democracy, equality, and human dignity that segregation curtails.