Create an Office of School Integration and Equity to ensure REAL integration in NYC schools

Chancellor Richard Carranza, New York City Department of Education

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Tell Chancellor Carranza and the New York City Department of Education to create an Office of School Integration and Equity.

This Office will be responsible for driving the integration process and ensuring coordination with the community, with internal divisions of the DOE, and with the City’s housing & community development agencies as they evaluate their own policies and practices in tandem.

New York City’s public schools are deeply segregated by race, socioeconomic status, ability, and language status. Residential settlement patterns and exclusionary student assignment policies—including zones, screens, exams, and school choice— are just a few of the mechanisms leveraged to protect and maintain the racial segregation of the city’s public schools. This longstanding history of systemic and multi-faceted racial segregation in New York City (and other northern metropolitan areas) has not only resulted in vast school segregation along lines of race, but has also led to the segregation of public school students along lines of socioeconomic status, ability, and language status.

Both the government and the private market continue to play an active role in creating and sustaining housing segregation and racially and economically isolated residential settlement patterns. Almost fifty years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (a.k.a. the Fair Housing Act), these patterns persist: New York City is the 3rd most segregated metropolitan area for African-Americans and 2nd most segregated for Asian-Americans and Latino-Americans. The segregation of housing and schools in New York City is a function of white supremacy,  and threatens the democratic ideals of public education.

New York City’s school choice program for high schools, screened middle school admissions, and the combination of zones and choice at the elementary level have promised to provide all students with access to high quality schools. However, the nature of these systems has created separate schools, isolating and concentrating white middle-class students in schools that have become opportunity monopolies. These systems have also led to disinvestment in schools that largely serve students of color. The harms of disinvestment include high teacher turnover, overcrowded classrooms, inferior curricula, facilities, and resources, policies that drive punitive discipline, and a decline in reputation that perpetuates the cycle.

We urge the DOE to use the recommendations from ASID's policy agenda in shaping the work of this office.  Join us in calling for this critical first step in our journey to making New York City schools fair, equitable, and integrated.


To: Chancellor Richard Carranza, New York City Department of Education
From: [Your Name]

New York City’s public schools are deeply segregated by race, socioeconomic status, ability, and language status. The New York City Department of Education’s Diversity Plan offered an obvious starting point in addressing this problem, but did not go far enough.

We call on the City to engage the community in developing ambitious goals and benchmarks towards integrating its schools. These efforts should align to IntegrateNYC’s 5 R’s of Real Integration, (Race and Enrollment, Resource Allocation, Relationships, Representation, Restorative Justice), outlined in the Student Constitution on Real Integration.

To lead this effort, we call for the creation of an Office of School Integration and Equity, overseen by a Deputy Chancellor.

This Office will be responsible for driving the integration process and ensuring coordination with the community, with internal divisions of the DOE, and with the City’s housing & community development agencies as they evaluate their own policies and practices in tandem. We recommend the DOE draw from ASID's policy agenda in shaping the work of this office.

We urge you to build on your recent statements in support of bolder action on school integration by immediately taking this critical first step in our journey to making New York City schools fair, equitable, and integrated.