The New York suit highlights the lack of nonwhite teachers relative to the student population, which is nearly 70 percent Black and Latino, and the disproportionately high suspension rates for nonwhite students compared with their white classmates.
But it focuses mainly on the issue that has thrust New York’s divided school district into the national spotlight: the sorting of students as young as 4 years old for selective classes. New York is more reliant on academic prerequisites like test scores, grades and attendance to place students in public schools than any other school district in America.
The city’s gifted and talented classes for elementary school students are about 75 percent white and Asian-American, and there are relatively few gifted programs located in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods. White students, who make up just 15 percent of the overall district, are starkly overrepresented in selective middle and high schools….
The New York State Constitution guarantees all students a right to a sound, basic education…
Decades of research have shown that integration can improve academic outcomes for nonwhite students in particular because desegregation leads to money and other resources being distributed more evenly across schools.
“Nearly every facet of the New York City public education system operates not only to prop up, but also to affirmatively reproduce, the artificial racial hierarchies that have subordinated people of color for centuries in the United States,” the complaint reads.
Mr. de Blasio has…
created a temporary new admissions system for 4-year-olds vying for seats in gifted and talented classrooms. Rather than having those children sit for a much-criticized exam, they will be referred to gifted programs by their preschool teachers, or sit for an interview.”