NEW YORK CITY - Mayor de Blasio today announced changes to New York City's admissions for selective middle and high schools. In response, the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement from senior organizer Toni Smith-Thompson:
"This morning’s announcement is a significant step toward making New York City public schools equitable and is a testament to the years of work by students, parents and advocates to desegregate our schools. It should not have taken a pandemic to finally remove discriminatory admissions screens for children applying to middle school and to remove the egregious district priorities that concentrate wealth and resources into a few schools. Nor should it have taken months of work by students, namely Teens Take Charge and IntegrateNYC, to lead the work of pressing for school-level changes in the middle of a pandemic.
Despite this progress, the maintenance of screens at the high school level ignores the reality that screens measure opportunity, not merit. These decisions aren't about any one school year or any one community: the policies we set and the opportunities we provide students impact the trajectory of their lives, their families, and our city itself. The City must work toward permanent removal of discriminatory admissions screens at all levels, and remain firm in its support of schools and districts who are adopting more equitable admissions policies."