We ARE CALLING ON Mayor de Blasio to approve a comprehensive plan to racially, socioeconomically, and academically integrate New York City’s 480 public high schools.
JUNE 26 SIT-IN
On the last day of school, June 26, 2019, twenty Teens Take Charge members staged a sit-in at City Hall in protest of Mayor de Blasio’s inaction to integrate New York City public high schools. They were joined by City Council members Mark Treyger, Brad Lander, Inez Barron, Antonio Reynoso, Helen Rosenthal, and Keith Powers. Check out coverage of the sit-in on PIX11.
PORTRAITS OF DEFIANCE
By Dulce Michelle Marquez
JUNE 6 RALLY
On the 2-year anniversary of the release of the NYC Department of Education’s meager “Diversity Plan,” approximately 400 students and adult allies took the steps of the Tweed Courthouse and demanded that Mayor de Blasio integrate high schools now. The protest came as a direct response to the inaction we have seen from the administration since the launch of our campaign. Read about it in Gothamist.
MAY 17 MEETING
We marked the 65th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board by meeting with 15 education policymakers, including Chancellor Richard Carranza and First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan, at City Hall to discuss our plan to integrate New York City high schools.
After the meeting, we held a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hall. Watch a recap on NY1.
Photos by Dulce Michelle Marquez
In the meeting, we asked the adult leaders to make the following five commitments. They made one.
Adopt our academic diversity proposal for high schools by the fall admissions cycle.
Ban the practice of screening students using in-person interviews and specialty exams (screens that were removed in 1986 but came back) by the fall admissions cycle.
Provide our suggested additional resources (internship coordinators, counselors, laptops, etc.) to schools that struggle to attract high-scoring students, starting next school year.
Verify the accuracy of the information schools provide in the high school directory (online and in print) by the fall admissions cycle. – YES
Publish college readiness rates in the MySchools portal by the fall admissions cycle.
We know that classroom diversity benefits every learner, but right now New York City schools are among the most segregated in the nation. We want to change that — now. And while diverse enrollment is not a sufficient step to achieve true integration, it is a necessary one.
The New York City high school admissions process promises “open choice,” but it does not always deliver. The process favors students with high grades and state test scores and whose families have time and resources to invest in navigating complex admissions criteria. As a result, open choice high schools remain nearly as segregated as zoned elementary schools.
Currently, about 2/3 of high school students attend schools where 25% to 75% of freshmen passed the 8th grade state ELA test. (For context, the citywide pass rate on that exam last year was 50%.) Collectively, these schools are more racially and socioeconomically diverse than schools above or below that range.
That’s why our plan focuses on the 1/3 of high school students who attend schools outside of that range, schools that we consider “academically segregated.” Here is a breakdown of the students in academically segregated schools:
Our Enrollment Equity Plan would eliminate these extremes by setting academic diversity thresholds that all high schools would have to meet. Doing this would push schools on the edges closer to the mean, promoting academic, racial, and socioeconomic integration.
Under our plan, high schools without enough student demand to meet the minimum academic diversity threshold would receive an influx of resources, including more guidance counselors and increased funding for sports, extracurriculars, technology, and summer internships. These additional resources and opportunities would reduce the harm that segregation inflicts while simultaneously making the school a more attractive option for future students.
In addition to academic diversity thresholds, our plan calls for more detailed and accurate information in the high school directory and more hands-on support for 8th graders in the high school application process. Finally, we support replacing the SHSAT with a Top 7% approach for admission to the city’s eight specialized high schools.
FEBRUARY 25 – First campaign meeting (occur every Monday)
MARCH 19 – TTC leader Muhammad Deen publishes op-ed in Gothamist detailing the rationale for our plan
MARCH 26 – #IntegrateNOW crowdfunding campaign launch
MARCH 26 – Four TTC members share testimony at Manhattan CEC Student Town Hall on school desegregation
MARCH 28 – TTC hosts school integration event at Fordham Law School and presents Enrollment Equity Plan
MARCH 29 – NAACP Legal Defense Fund, NYCLU, ACLU and Latino Justice file request on behalf of TTC to intervene as a third party in specialized high school lawsuit
MARCH 29 – Direct Action team leader Tiffani Torres asks Mayor de Blasio for a meeting on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show
APRIL 4 – Five TTC leaders meet with Mayor de Blasio’s senior education advisor Brandon Cardet-Hernandez
APRIL 5 – Coalition meeting #1 with representatives from 13 community organizations
APRIL 8 – 18 TTC members attend School Diversity Advisory Group’s youth symposium with Chancellor Carranza
APRIL 12 – 8 TTC leaders meet with members of the NYC DOE Intergovernmental Affairs team to discuss specialized high schools reform
APRIL 12 – TTC leader Dulce Marquez testifies in favor of abolishing the SHSAT at a town hall in Queens with New York state senators
APRIL 23 – TTC leaders meet with City Council Education Committee Chair Mark Treyger to discuss Enrollment Equity Plan
APRIL 28 – 2-year anniversary of TTC’s first event (woo!)
MAY 3 – Coalition meeting #2 with representatives from our partner organizations
MAY 9 – Second meeting with Mayor de Blasio’s senior education advisor Brandon Cardet-Hernandez
MAY 10 – NY State Assembly hearing on specialized high schools
MAY 17 – Meeting and press conference at City Hall with key decision makers (65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education decision)
MAY 31 – Coalition Meeting #3
JUNE 4 – Sign-making party
JUNE 6 – Rally for integration on 2-year anniversary of DOE’s “Diversity Report”
JUNE 7 – Direct Action team leader Tiffani Torres called Mayor de Blasio on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show and asked, “How much longer will it take?”