New York State public schools are the most racially segregated in the nation, and New York City schools are largely to blame, according to a new report by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles. In New York City, 19 of the city's 32 community school districts had elementary and middle schools with enrollments that were less than 10 percent white in 2010.
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According to the report, New York City charter schools are the most segregated, with less than 1 percent white enrollment at 73 percent of charter schools. But some charter leaders argue that the sector can't win, that charter schools are already accused of trying to attract the most talented students. Charters typically give preference to students who live in the district where they're located and have traditionally been created in highly segregated, low income neighborhoods. The report suggests that the housing segregation of the city is at the root of most of the schools' segregation.
The report's authors argue that the city should offer parents an unscreened choice in choosing public schools. The current high school choice system, which uses entrance tests at top schools, excludes most black and Latino students. The city's Department of Education spokesman, Devon Puglia, brushed off the findings, saying officials "value the incredible diversity among our students."
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