The conventional wisdom is that most elementary school children in New York City attend their zoned neighborhood schools and that the city’s high levels of school segregation merely reflect segregated housing patterns. But a more nuanced and in some ways disquieting story emerges from our analysis presented in a new policy report from the Center for New York City Affairs, “The Paradox of Choice.”



The Calculus of Race and Class: A New Look at the Achievement Gap in New York City Schools

By Nicole Mader and Ana Carla Sant’anna Costa

Decades of national research have documented the “achievement gap” among students of different racial and ethnic groups as measured by their scores on standardized tests, with White and Asian students generally outperforming their Black and Hispanic peers. Now, a new tool developed by the Integration Project at the Center for New York City Affairs allows parents, educators, and policymakers to see just how large that gap is among students at each of the city’s approximately 900 public elementary schools, both district and charter. It also shows how strongly and how frequently this gap is moderated by the household incomes of students, even within the same schools. 



No Heavy Lifting Required: New York City's Unambitious School 'Diversity Plan

By Nicole Mader and Ana Carla Sant'Anna Costa

Earlier this month, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) released a long-awaited plan designed to increase diversity in the city's public schools. The Center for New York City Affairs has crunched the numbers on these goals and found that they would not reflect meaningful, systemic change.



The Fierce Urgency of Now: Five Steps to Integrate New York City Elementary Schools

By Clara Hemphill, Lydie Raschka, and Nicole Mader

In the past year, New York City officials have taken small steps to ease racial and economic integration of enrollment in several dozen of the city’s 955 public elementary schools. In August, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised a “bigger vision” focused on such efforts. To date, however, his administration has yet to come up with a plan for larger-scale efforts to diversify enrollment among the city’s notoriously segregated schools.



Five Steps to Integrate New York City Elementary School (2016)

By  Clara Hemphill, Lydie Raschka and Nicole Mader

The City can do much more to foster economic integration of elementary schools than the small scale efforts it has made to date. Based on our visits to 150 schools across the city over the past two years, here are five feasible steps we believe the City can take.


Urban matters

West Side Story: How City Leaders Can Back a Brave School Zoning Plan (2016)

By Clara Hemphill

After two years of contentious public meetings, the Community Education Council, an elected panel of parents, has come up with a courageous and long overdue plan to ease overcrowding and foster racial and economic integration of three elementary schools in District 3 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It is a bold attempt to balance competing interests and to resolve one of the city’s most intractable social problems.



Integrated Schools in a Segregated City: Ten strategies that have made New York City elementary schools more diverse (2016)

By Clara Hemphill, Nicole Mader and InsideSchools Staff

The staff of InsideSchools visited 80 elementary schools to find out how some formerly high-poverty schools have succeeded in attracting children from a range of races, ethnicities and income levels.



Segregated Schools in Integrated Neighborhoods: The City's Schools Are Even More Divided Than Our Housing (2016)

By Clara Hemphill and Nicole Mader
In multi-ethnic New York City, why are so many elementary schools segregated by race and class? New research demonstrates that school segregation is not always the result of housing patterns.


Urban Matters

Diversity in New York’s Specialized Schools: 
A Deeper Data Dive

The most recent Urban Matters reported on patterns of racial and ethnic admission to some of the city’s most prestigious secondary schools and how admissions might more closely mirror the overall composition of the city’s public schools. 



Tough Test Ahead: Bringing Racial Diversity To New York’s Specialized High Schools

There’s a longstanding debate about why so few Black and Hispanic students are admitted to New York City’s specialized high schools, including Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech. They accounted for fewer than 9% of students offered admissions at eight specialized schools for the current school year; that’s down from 9.6% the year before. We analyzed the numbers. 


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Can 'Controlled Choice' Help Integrate NYC Schools? 

“Controlled choice” as a way to ease racial and economic segregation in elementary schools is a current hot topic on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The idea, proposed by a group called District 3 Task Force for Education Equity and now up for consideration by education decision-makers, is to get rid of school attendance zones and assign children to schools according to a formula that takes into account parent preferences as well as family income.



Are Schools Segregated Because Housing Is? It Ain’t Necessarily So

In multi-ethnic New York City, why are so many elementary schools segregated by race and class? For years, school officials and researchers have assumed that school segregation merely reflects segregated housing patterns—because most children attend their zoned neighborhood schools. 

However, new research demonstrates that school segregation is not always the result of housing patterns. In fact, as these interactive maps show, there are dozens of high-poverty elementary schools that serve mostly black and Latino children that are located in far more racially and economically mixed neighborhoods.



  Rami Niemi

Rami Niemi

Let Rich and Poor Learn Together (2015)

By Clara Hemphill and Halley Potter (New York Times)

THE mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, campaigned on a promise to provide free universal pre-K classes to more than 70,000 4-year-olds. The city is now poised to meet this ambitious goal.