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"New York City’s School Diversity Accountability Act,"

by Michael Hilton November/December 2015 issue of Poverty & Race

In late May the New York City Council passed the School Diversity Accountability Act, consisting of Intro 511 and Resolution 453. Intro 511-A is a local law requiring the New York City Department of Education to issue an annual report detailing levels of diversity in New York City schools. The NYC Department of Education is required to report data at the community school district level, individual school level, and special programs within a school. The reported data will be disaggregated by grade level, race and ethnicity, gender, and English Language Learner status. Furthermore, the Department is required to report on the admissions process used for each school or special program (e.g., lottery, geographic zone, or standardized test), as well as any efforts taken in the preceding year to encourage a more diverse student body. The first report for K-12 is due December 31, 2015; all subsequent reports will include information on pre-K diversity, and will be due on November 1st each year. Resolution 453, recognizing the exceptional segregation of NYC schools and the academic as well as social benefits of integrated classrooms, calls on the NYC Department of Education to “officially recognize the importance and benefits of school diversity and to set it as a priority when making decisions regarding admissions policies and practices, creation of new schools, school rezoning and other pertinent decisions and commit to having a strategy in each district for overcoming impediments to school diversity.”

For the text of the two sections of the School Diversity Accountability Act, go to http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Legislation.aspx and search for Introduction No. 511-A and Resolution No. 453.

Michael Hilton is a Policy Analyst at PRRAC, specializing in federal education policy with a focus on school desegregation. Mr. Hilton is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was a Managing Editor of the Columbia Journal of European Law, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. mhilton@prrac.org
 
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