Is School Integration Possible in New York City?
Gentrification and immigration have transformed New York City in the past 25 years, bringing an astonishing racial, ethnic, and economic diversity to many neighborhoods. Yet the public school system remains largely segregated by race and class. Why are there segregated public schools, even in integrated neighborhoods? And how have some schools managed to achieve integration? This talk explores the historical roots of school segregation and the prospects for change in the country’s largest school system.
Clara Hemphill is the founder of the InsideSchools website and author of New York City’s Best Public Pre-K and Elementary Schools. She led a team of researchers investigating school integration at The New School’s Center for New York City Affairs. Her work combines on-the-ground reporting from hundreds of school visits with historical research and data analysis. The New York Times called her guidebooks to the city’s schools a “Bible for urban parents.” She is currently writing a book on how schools adapt to neighborhood change, focusing on an elementary school in Brooklyn’s rapidly gentrifying Bedford-Stuyvesant.