Coming on the heels of an embarrassing March report that the nation’s largest school district is among its most racially segregated, some members of the New York City Council today introduced measures to tackle the longstanding problem. They include:
- one resolution asking the city’s department of education to prioritize school diversity in decision-making and another asking the state legislature to amend the admission policy for the city’s most selective schools, subjects of a 2012 NAACP LDF complaint); and
- a bill requiring the city to issue annual reports on "progress and efforts towards increasing school diversity."
The council exerts little influence over the school district. Only the bill is legally binding. But the package could add pressure on the department of education to revisit segregation.
The March report’s premise is that "school integration is still a goal worth pursuing." Can separate be equal, the authors ask? Yes.
If measured by test scores, a few resegregated schools show high performance. But even if equality can be reached between racially isolated schools, students may never achieve the skills and abilities required to navigate an increasingly diverse nation.