Adofo Muhammad, center, principal of Bedford Academy High School, teaches 10th and 11th graders in his Global Studies class in the Brooklyn Borough of New York. New York state has the most segregated public schools in the nation, with many black and Latino students attending schools with virtually no white classmates, according to a report released Wednesday, March 26, 2014, by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
New York City’s public schools remain among the most segregated in the country, and three city lawmakers are looking to bring greater attention to this fact through a legislative package introduced this week.
In 1989, less than half of New York metro area schools were majority-minority schools. By 2010, that percentage had increased to two-thirds, according to recent report by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project. Almost half of metro area schools are now considered intensely-segregated (having between 90-100 percent minority enrollment), a 70 percent increase since 1989, states the report.
The legislative package being introduced to the City Council, and first reported in the New York Times, would require the city’s education department to publicly report raw diversity measurements, including number of enrolled students by race, class, temporary housing and disability.
“Unfortunately, the reality is we have a deeply segregated school system that doesn’t deliver the benefits of diversity to most public school kids,” Councilman Brad Lander, Democrat from Brooklyn, told the Times.
Another piece of the package is a nonbinding resolution asking the state legislature to change a law that makes a single, standardized test the sole criteria for admission into the city’s specialized high school. This year, that admissions approach resulted in 12 percent enrollment for Black and Latino students, though they make up 70 percent of the city’s student population, reported the Times.