Contact: Matthew Gonzales
School Diversity Project Director
New York Appleseed
NEW YORK APPLESEED HAILS RELEASE OF SCHOOL DIVERSITY POLICY STATEMENT AND FRAMEWORK FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Policy statement with specific goals coupled with community-engagement process represents the culmination of four years of advocacy for New York Appleseed.
Specifics of goals and action steps fall short.
NEW YORK – New York Appleseed celebrates a significant victory with the New York City Department of Education’s (DOE’s) announcement of a clear policy statement prioritizing school diversity with specific benchmarks to measure success – a long standing advocacy goal for the organization. New York Appleseed also hails DOE’s proposed complementary framework for community engagement in the diversity plan entitled Equity and Excellence for All: Diversity in New York City Public Schools.
Since the publication of its groundbreaking Within Our Reach series of advocacy briefings beginning in 2013, New York Appleseed has insisted that individual communities – particularly at community-school-district level are essential partners in the development of voluntary school-integration plans. By prioritizing school diversity with a clear policy statement and laying out a framework for public engagement, the language of DOE’s diversity plan affirms the critical role of community-based planning.
“Today the New York City Department of Education has taken a huge leap forward with an explicit policy statement prioritizing school diversity and a complementary process for community engagement to turn aspirations into reality,” said New York Appleseed’s School Diversity Project Director Matthew Gonzales. “We look forward to working with the Department towards the realization of a more integrated school system under this framework.”
Notwithstanding this significant step forward for school diversity, New York Appleseed is puzzled by the plan’s inclusion of unambitious goals and action steps, many of which DOE has already been doing.
“We are concerned by the low bar DOE seems to have set for itself in its goals and action steps and look forward to working with the new Advisory Group to shore up this part of the plan,” said Executive Director David Tipson. “We are particularly troubled by the DOE’s apparent doubling down on screened admissions – the principal driver of segregation in the city’s middle and high schools.”
New York Appleseed advocates for equity of access and fair allocation of resources to schools and neighborhoods in New York City and across New York State. We collaborate with volunteer lawyers, parent groups, demographers, real estate professionals, government officials and community advocates to uncover regional disparities, develop practical solutions and advocate for implementation of our recommendations.