Integration Updates & Band-Aids

Posted on Updated on

ŸŸŸ*  DoE puts socio-economic integration on indefinite hold in D1
Ÿ*  CEC1 and community members believe district-wide integration is feasible, this year
*  New School report released Wednesday agrees, recommends “Five Steps to Integrate New York City Elementary Schools”
*  DoE, “can do much more to address deep segregation in its public schools, such as…moving ahead with an admissions plan aimed at lowering segregation on the Lower East Side” report concludes (Politico, 11/30/16)
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Kate Taylor, The New York Times, 11/18/16
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Beth Fertig, WNYC, 11/18/16
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Eliza Shapiro, Politico, 11/30/16

“Lastly, the report recommends that the city allow parents on the Lower East Side to forge ahead with a plan to introduce controlled choice in District 1. Under controlled choice, low-income incoming Kindergarten students would be distributed among the neighborhood’s elementary schools in order to create a more integrated district. But that proposal was recently put on hold by the Department of Education, although officials say it could still be implemented some time in 2018.” 

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Lindsey Christ, NY1, 11/30/16

“Parents on the Lower East Side say the city is standing in the way of them putting their plan in place by September.  ‘It has been a challenge, to say the least,’ said one parent.”

*  Last week, CEC 1 sent a letter to the State Education Department asking for assistance in seeing that the DoE implement socio-economic integration in District 1
*  The letter outlined the grant process to date and community questions and concerns.

The letter asks about the current status of the Grant, clarification on who submits the proposed plan for approval, what level of transparency can be expected by the community, how to ensure authentic collaboration, whether resources from the grant can be diverted from the grant activities to fulfill unrelated educational goals and activities that do not further SES integration, and whether the NYSED can intervene to enforce the grant implementation time line.

Appendices to the letter detailed specific issues regarding transparency, the grant budget and process, collaboration efforts, and DoE arguments against the feasibility of integration.
The State awarded the grant (a $1,250,000 3-year grant to the DoE in July 2015) and is therefore uniquely able to help demand that DoE live up to our hopes and their promises.  With that in mind, we also asked for assistance in seeing that the DoE outline (at minimum) a public plan that would allow for 2017-2018 Pre-Kindergarten integration.
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*  Do you want to help? Please let us know. There is wide interest in the desegregation effort in District 1. Media requests, organizing efforts, and community outreach and education can all use your ideas and expertise.  Thank you!

Band Aids
*  The DOE still hasn’t delivered the district-wide solution that has been promised.
*  What impact will this have on the segregation in many other D1 schools?
*  The community is questioning whether the DOE is a good-faith partner.
Diversity in Admissions Pilots

*  “While many advocates consider expanding the roster of the diversity initiative to 19 schools an important step, questions remain whether a piecemeal approach to integration of New York City public schools can put a dent in what is among the most segregated school districts in the nation.
*  “These tentative steps move a limited number of schools in the right direction but these ‘set asides’ alone distract from the many other strategies urgently needed to improve educational opportunities for all students,” said David Bloomfield, an education professor at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.
*  “‘Set asides’ help to racially balance disproportionately white, wealthier student enrollments but do little to improve — and may harm — nearby schools, some so segregated that they are called ‘apartheid schools’ by a recent UCLA study of segregated schooling in New York.”

Diversity-Based Admissions Coming to 12 More City Schools, Amy Zimmer, DNAinfo, 10/21/2016
9 Questions

2 more D1 elementary schools (now a total of 4) were added to the DOE’s Diversity in Admission pilots.  50% of seats have been set-aside at these schools for certain students:

*  Why only these categories of at-risk students (FRPL and ELL) and not other categories of students segregated in district schools?
*  Why a 50% set-aside and not closer to district averages?
*  Why these schools and why not then the other 12 elementary schools in the district?
*  Why at all, considering the community support for a district-wide plan? [Presidents Council Letter, signed on to by the CEC on 10/19/16]
*  Why at all, considering the potential for negative impact on other district schools?
*  Why at all, when there hasn’t been any evidence that the pilot was working?

Since any positive effects pale in comparison to the benefits of a district-wide solution, uniquely suited to un-zoned D1 and available for implementation in D1 thanks to the SIPP Grant:

*  Why haven’t the Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack and the head of the OSE, Rob Sanft, made a commitment to implement the SIPP Grant?
*  Why is there one standard for the Diversity in Admissions pilot and another for the SIPP Grant?  [CEC Resolution of 10/19/16]
*  Why has the DOE sat on the workgroup recommendations for 7 months now?

For example:
Looking at city data from 2014-2015, there are 9 elementary schools in CSD that disproportionately enroll students with families who qualify for free or reduced price lunch (FRPL).  What impact will the Diversity in Admissions pilots have on these schools?

*  PS 15 – over 90%
*  PS 20 – over 90%
*  PS 34 – over 90%
*  PS 63 – over 80%
*  PS 64 – over 90%
*  PS 134 – over 90%
*  PS 140 – over 90%
*  PS 142 – over 90%
*  PS 188 – over 90%

See more on CEC1’s questions about “Diversity in Admissions” Plans