It is a shame that the author opted to make this op-ed an advertisement for charter schools rather that a real contribution to the public discussion about integration. A more thoughtful, honest, and better-researched version of this piece could have challenged us all.
Some facts and issues that this author was obligated to note:
• The 2014 UCLA report on segregation in NYS found that charter schools are more segregated than traditional public schools.
• Relatedly, “blind” or “random” lotteries will NOT by themselves lead to integration. Such lotteries need to be regulated by pro-diversity frameworks such as set-aside admission plans. The charter schools in NYC that can be credited for their work on diversity are using such methods.
• Policymakers are not “baffled.” The DOE’s diversity-in-admissions program has applied these methods to scores of schools and programs. In District 15, screens were removed as well. The SDAG reports lay out exactly what policymakers need to do. The problem at this point is not know-how, but political will.
• Speaking of politics, a more searching, public-minded piece might have asked why the charter community has been largely silent or hostile as policymakers adopt these kinds of admissions plans for traditional public schools. It can often feel like the reliable allies of the charter sector are in fact the most likely to rail against initiatives to remove competitive admissions and adopt pro-diversity admissions plans at traditional public schools.
Read the full article here.
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