Desegregation Plan: Eliminate All Gifted Programs in New York


For years, New York City has essentially maintained two parallel public school systems.

A group of selective schools and programs aimed at students labeled as talented and talented is mainly made up of white and Asian kids. The rest of the system is open to all students and is predominantly black and Hispanic.

A high-level group appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio has recommended that the city remove most of these selective programs with the aim of removing the system, which has 1.1 million students and is by far the most important from the country.

Mr de Blasio, who has bet his mayor on the reduction of inequalities, has the power to adopt all or part of the proposals without contribution from the state legislature or municipal council. If it did, the decision would fundamentally change a largely segregated school system and could have repercussions in school districts across the country.

The mayor will now be immersed in the center of a sensitive debate about race and class at home, even as he strives to stand out in a field filled with Democratic presidential candidates.

About a quarter of middle and middle schools in the city require students to be selected – through exams, attendance rates and grades – to be admitted. New York selects more students for its schools than any other city in the country, and these schools tend to have a disproportionate number of white and Asian registrations.

The panel recommended that the city replaces the gifted and filtered schools with new Magnet schools – which have been used in other cities to attract a diverse group of students interested in a particular subject subject – as well as enrichment programs open to students with varied academic abilities.

If the mayor adopts the recommendations, primary schools and colleges will no longer be able to admit students solely or largely on the basis of standardized exams or other academic prerequisites, and high schools will have diversity requirements. .

The panel felt that other means of admission should be chosen by the Ministry of Education and Districts.

Although it may be months before the mayor makes his decision, the publication of these recommendations may trigger a fierce battle in a system of public schools with nearly 70% of Blacks and Hispanics and having mostly modest incomes.

Yet the so-called The School Diversity Advisory Group acknowledged that the city should strive to prevent middle class families to flee the system.

If these students move into private schools or suburbs, "it will become even more difficult to create high quality integrated schools" in New York, says the report. The panel wrote that "high achievers deserve to be challenged", but in different ways.

The mayor and the chancellor were both without engagement.

"I thank the School Diversity Advisory Group for their hard work on behalf of equity and excellence within our system, and I look forward to reviewing their recommendations. Said Mr. de Blasio. Mr. Carranza promised to "take steps to ensure that all students have access to a rich and rigorous education".

The panel presented the mayor and the chancellor with a plan for a general revision of its selective academic offer, while leaving many details to the city.

The city should get rid of the standardized admission exam for gifted elementary school programs, which is offered to prospective kindergarten students and sparked an expensive home-made test preparation industry for toddlers said the panel.

Mr de Blasio should also impose a moratorium on new gifted programs, stop most academic groupings and phase out existing gifted courses by not admitting new students, the panel said. If the recommendations were accepted, New York would abandon its current offers in about five years.

To integrate high schools, the panel recommended that the city do not open new selected high schools, eliminate geographical areas as admission criteria and disregard delays or attendance in the assessment of future students.

The commission should also rethink its competitive admission process in high schools to ensure secondary schools reflect the racial and economic makeup of their boroughs, the panel said.

Nevertheless, according to the report, a system that relies heavily on sorting students according to their academic abilities "is not fair, even if it is effective for some".

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