NYC Charters Are Leading the Way on School Integration
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced a new diversity plan this week that includes many commonsense reforms, as well as an advisory group that will gather community input and examine additional proposals to lessen the racial and socioeconomic segregation still too prevalent in New York City schools.
One hopes that the advisory group will include input from the city’s charter schools sector. In some ways, it is leading the way on school integration.
One advantage charters have over traditional schools is that they can draw students from beyond restrictive neighborhood zones. Some charter leaders use this freedom to purposely create diverse student bodies. Several have joined a new grassroots organization, the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition, which supports the creation and expansion of high-quality, racially and economically diverse public charter schools.
Founded in 2014, the coalition has grown to include more than 100 schools in 14 states and the District of Columbia. In the city, the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition includes nine charter organizations: Brooklyn Prospect, Brooklyn Urban Garden, Citizens of the World, Community Roots, Compass, Hebrew Public, International Charter, NY French American, and Success Academy (which has six schools in the coalition).
Sonia Park, executive director of the coalition, explains that....
This piece originally appeared in The 74