New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0453-2014    Version: * Name: DOE to officially recognize the importance and benefits of school diversity.
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on Education
On agenda: 10/22/2014
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to officially recognize the importance and benefits of school diversity and to set it as a priority when making decisions regarding admissions policies and practices, creation of new schools, school rezoning and other pertinent decisions and commit to having a strategy in each district for overcoming impediments to school diversity.
Sponsors: Ritchie J. Torres, Inez D. Barron, Brad S. Lander, Daniel Dromm , Ydanis A. Rodriguez, Mark Levine, Mark Treyger, Alan N. Maisel, Margaret S. Chin, Donovan J. Richards, Antonio Reynoso, Helen K. Rosenthal, Ben Kallos, Stephen T. Levin, Deborah L. Rose, Jumaane D. Williams, Chaim M. Deutsch, Mathieu Eugene, James G. Van Bramer
Council Member Sponsors: 19
Attachments: 1. Committee Report 12/11/14, 2. Hearing Testimony 12/11/14, 3. Hearing Transcript 12/11/14, 4. Committee Report 5/26/15, 5. Hearing Transcript 5/26/15, 6. May 27, 2015 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 7. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 5-27-15, 8. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - May 27, 2015
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
5/27/2015*Ritchie J. Torres City Council Approved, by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
5/26/2015*Ritchie J. Torres Committee on Education Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/26/2015*Ritchie J. Torres Committee on Education Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
12/11/2014*Ritchie J. Torres Committee on Education Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
12/11/2014*Ritchie J. Torres Committee on Education Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
10/22/2014*Ritchie J. Torres City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
10/22/2014*Ritchie J. Torres City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
Res. No. 453
 
 
Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to officially recognize the importance and benefits of school diversity and to set it as a priority when making decisions regarding admissions policies and practices, creation of new schools, school rezoning and other pertinent decisions and commit to having a strategy in each district for overcoming impediments to school diversity.
 
 
By Council Members Torres, Barron, Lander, Dromm, Rodriguez, Levine, Treyger, Maisel, Chin, Richards, Reynoso, Rosenthal, Kallos, Levin, Rose, Williams, Deutsch, Eugene and Van Bramer
 
Whereas, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary year of the 1954 landmark United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which found that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" and banned separate public schools for black and white students; and
Whereas, Despite this landmark ruling, many schools and districts throughout the United States (U.S.) have been alleged to still be "separate" due, in part, to racially and economically isolated housing patterns in many areas; and
Whereas, According to a 2013 Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report entitled For Public Schools, Segregation Then, Segregation Since, "[t]oday, African American students are more isolated than they were 40 years ago, while most education policymakers and reformers have abandoned integration as a cause"; and
Whereas, New York State has the most non-diverse schools in the country, according to a 2014 report by The Civil Rights Project of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) entitled New York State's Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction, and a Damaged Future; and
Whereas, According to the Civil Rights Project (CRP) report, in 2009, black and Latino students in the state had the highest concentration of public schools with less than 10% white enrollment, the lowest exposure to white students, and the most uneven distribution with white students across schools; and
Whereas, Heavily impacting New York State's ranking is New York City, home to the largest and one of the most non-diverse public school systems in the nation, according to the CRP report; and
Whereas, In 2010, New York City students represented nearly 60% of the state's total black students, two-thirds of the total Asian and Latino students, but only 10% of white students; and
Whereas, While the City's public-school population is diverse - currently more than 40% Hispanic, approximately 26% black, 15% white and 16% Asian - the distribution of students across schools is much less so; and
Whereas, A 2012 New York Times analysis of schools data for the 2009-10 school year found that more than half the city's schools were at least 90% black and Hispanic; and
Whereas, Furthermore, according to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2010, 93% of public schools in the Bronx, 71% in Brooklyn, 69% in Manhattan, 59% in Queens, and only 8% in Staten Island had less than 10% white students; and
Whereas, Additionally, a 2013 publication by the Independent Budget Office (IBO) found that, while lack of diversity exists at all levels of City schools, elementary schools are the least diverse and high schools the most diverse; and
Whereas, A considerable body of research indicates that racial and economic diversity of schools is one of the few education reforms that is proven to improve the educational achievement and life opportunities of minority and low-income children systemically; and
Whereas, This is primarily because the best way to ensure that public educational resources are equitably distributed among all children is to allow all children access to the same resources in the same schools; and
Whereas, Further, diverse schools promote better educational outcomes and provide benefits for all students; and
Whereas, For example, research confirms that African-American and Hispanic students perform better on tests in schools that are diverse, while school diversity has no negative impact on the test scores of white students; and
Whereas, In addition, studies have found that prolonged contact with racially diverse students may have significant effects on students' complex thinking and a more diverse classroom environment encourages critical thinking in all students; and
Whereas, Attending diverse schools also improves high school graduation and college matriculation rates for minority students; and
Whereas, Beyond educational benefits, diverse schools provide other societal advantages, including improving cross-racial understanding and reducing racial prejudice; and
Whereas, Diverse schools also improve the potential for reducing residential lack of diversity; and
Whereas, Further, diverse schools are linked to a host of positive learning outcomes for white students as well, including the promotion of critical thinking and problem-solving skills and higher academic achievement; and
Whereas, Attending diverse schools is also linked to social and psychological advantages for white students, including more friendships across racial lines and higher levels of cultural competence, a critical advantage in the modern workplace and today's global economy; and
Whereas, In sum, diverse schools are essential to prepare all children to live and work together in a nation in which Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other non-Whites will collectively comprise the majority of the U.S. population by 2042; now, therefore, be it  
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York City Department of Education to officially recognize the importance and benefits of school diversity and to set it as a priority when making decisions regarding admissions policies and practices, creation of new schools, school rezoning and other pertinent decisions and commit to having a strategy in each district for overcoming impediments to school diversity.
LS# 2099
JA
10/17/14