Praise Decision to Integrate Schools for More Diversity

[Writers in the Schools] In Laura Gamache's writing class at Hamilton Middle School.

Target: Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, Carmen Farina

Goal: Applaud the integration of students, regardless of race and class.

New York’s public school zones are now taking measures to integrate their public schools. In the past, kids from a wealthy neighborhood would never end up in the same schools as those from poorer neighborhoods. A good example of this is Public School #8, or P.S 8 for short. P.S 8 is surrounded by luxury condos and townhouses built back in the nineteenth century where families would do anything to move into the area. Why? They wanted to have their children to be a part of P.S 8’s coveted kindergarten, which eventually led to overcrowding. A few blocks away is P.S 307, which is surrounded by a large public housing project. The mandated school zones forced the poorer students, mostly minorities, into PS 307.

Demographically, the schools are nothing alike. Ninety percent of the students that attend P.S 307 are financially needy, opposed to the 16 percent at P.S 8. Also, 95 percent of the students at P.S 307 are minorities, opposed to the 40 percent at P.S 8.

A local board that represented the district voted six to three in favor of redrawing the boundary between P.S 8 and P.S 307. That means that hundreds of affluent white students will attend a school that is predominantly poor and minority. Sign the petition below to applaud the New York school district for taking a step to integrate their schools.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Department of Education Chancellor Farina,

I would like to thank you for taking a step in diversifying schools. Students will be exposed to different cultures and even different languages, which in the long run may help them tremendously in this constantly diversifying world. What used to be a huge racial and economic segregation is now being undone, because it should never have happened in the first place.

We can only hope that other school districts will follow in this example. Charter schools already accept students of all races and economic classes no matter where the student lives, but even these schools see an influx on predominantly white students. We can only hope that other school districts will follow in this example. Thank you for integrating your schools.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Seattle Public Schools

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