Again, the crucial factor of trust that DOE supposedly prides itself on and that the NYC Kids PAC report card discussed was broken.
Here is Naomi Pena of the CEC, as quoted by WNYC: "It’s not going to move the needle. Wealthier families are going to be very hesitant to apply to schools that are low-income. The same goes the other way.... For them to come back with this is a major slap in the face. The DOE knows nothing else but segregation. That’s what their legacy is. So when they take a plan that has a potential for change, and butcher it, it offends me....The community, myself, were used as pawns. DOE turned it into an admission policy that the community did not want."
Below is the message sent out by the CEC today:
The Mayor's Election Day "Diversity Plan" for District 1:
- We sounded the alarm about school segregation before it became fashionable for political candidates to have a “diversity plan.”
- We searched for communities that have tackled segregation, and we found the leading expert in the field.
- We secured a federally-funded, NY state grant to introduce an evidence-based, enrollment model called “controlled choice.”
- And with the help of our D1 Mom Squad, we spread the word and earned the community’s support.
- Proposes a new policy not backed by available research,
- Plans to spend federally-funded state money on this new policy, knowing that it cannot achieve our shared integration goals, and
- Measures success according to the loose criteria from the Mayor’s “diversity plan,” widely described by NYC education reporters as… “not a plan.”
- Applies to the entire school district and not just a few schools,
- Applies to both pre-K and kindergarten enrollment policies, and
- Proposes that each school’s population should reflect the local community with regards to a student's family income, language, and housing status.
- Will the new Family Resource Center include on-site enrollment with transparency for families to see the chances of getting into their top-choice schools, and for schools to monitor outreach and integration progress?
- How will the DOE give priority to students with disabilities when considering equity in our schools?
- Will this plan change the fact that students in temporary housing are concentrated in just a few schools?
- Given that the DOE proposal relies solely on free/reduced lunch status as the primary priority indicator, how will the Department maintain data quality under the Mayor’s new policy, which we support, for universal free lunch?
- To assure fairness, how will the DOE protect against gaming the system when families fill out their applications?
- We have been advocating that the goal should be that all schools reflect the demographics of the community, within +/- 5% of key indicators. Why does DOE feel that a wider range of +/- 10% for a basket of indicators is good enough to achieve equity? Why is lowering the bar of success better than honestly addressing shortfalls?
- Will there be a new enrollment form for pre-k and kindergarten that makes it possible for DOE to identify priority students? Given that student needs are not identified until kindergarten, will DOE rely on self-reporting language, income, housing, or disability status? Or will this all be guesswork?
- Will DOE measure success based on the November 1 enrollment data after students actually enroll? Or will it be based on the less accurate application data from September, like the current set-asides?
- How specifically will DOE provide transparency on district-wide and school-level data for the public to monitor progress?