News by VICE

Rich parents in New York City are mad their schools are trying to desegregate

One of the city’s wealthiest, wokest districts is constructing a plan to do something about its segregation.

by Antonia Hylton
Jun 12 2018, 2:30pm

New York prides itself on being an open-minded and diverse city, but it has one of the most racially segregated public school systems in the nation.

New York's elite public schools are overrepresented by wealthier white and Asian children despite 67 percent of the public school population being black and Latino. The continued inequities stand out at a time when schools around the country from Arizona to New Jersey are debating ways to better integrate students.

This summer, a range of proposals are gaining momentum to address segregation by changing admissions policies at the middle school and high school levels.

But not everyone is enthusiastic about potential changes.

In one district, a grassroots plan to reserve 25 percent of seats in every middle school for struggling students has angered the parents of high-performing, well-resourced children. In the district's best-performing schools, fewer than 10 percent of students are from low-income families. At its worst schools, almost 100 percent of the students are poor and of color.

VICE News met with Kim Watkins, the chair of the Community Education Council for District 3, which is comprised of 16 middle schools spread across the more affluent parts of the Upper West Side and black, brown, and poorer sections of southern Harlem.

This segment originally aired June 5, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.