Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Resegregation of New York City Schools 

Photo source Jörg Schubert | CC BY 2.0

It’s no surprise that the public schools of New York City have become resegregated. It’s happening all over the U.S., so why should the Big Apple be any different? Read Jonathan Kozol’s The Shame of the Nation for a superior assessment of where public schooling is headed in the U.S. in terms of equality and access. Kozol has been on this quest since Death At An Early Age! When readers look at the voting map of New York City  in the 2016 general election, it is impossible to see anything other than a sea of blue. But the color blue hides all sorts of seismic movements in the way people behave at street level in the real world. It’s one thing to vote for a liberal or left candidate and an entirely different situation placing a child in a school that doesn’t reflect a parent or guardian’s social, economic and political values and prejudices. “Not with my child” is a cry that reverberates down across the decades since Brown v. The Topeka Board of Education.

I recently spoke with Heather, whose 7-year-old is a student in one of the “desirable” schools on the upper West Side of Manhattan. She spoke of school meetings where yelling among parents is common practice and such catcalls as “gentrifier” are hurled at those people who are tireless in attempting, and often succeeding, at getting their child/children into the so-called desirable schools in the city. These so-called desirable schools, which have special activities and learning activities often funded by the school’s parents’ group, are within walking distance of segregated schools. Readers will recall the term de facto segregation, rather than segregation by law and custom (read Jim Crow), following the Brown decision by the Supreme Court. By the ninth grade, students are administered a high-school entrance exam that determines which high school a student will attend the following fall. This is high stakes stuff and the result of failing to get into a chosen school is the chance of being relegated to a segregated school. Amazing stuff, but choosing the so-called “right” schools can extend all the way back to preschool… It’s a truly disturbing phenomenon, and the alternatives are many of the schools that Kozol highlights in The Shame of the Nation.

Readers don’t have to focus on the current climate of school selection in New York City to see that city’s battle over who controls schools and who attends and teaches in the schools of the city.  Albert Shanker, a founding member of the United Federation of Teachers, later the American Federation of Teachers, of which I have been a long-time member, cut his teeth in the controversial fight about the issue of the local control of schools in the late 1960s.

Perhaps Shanker is best known for opposing community control over schools in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville district of New York City, which led to the 1968 strike after which teachers were dismissed from the school district by the [a] recently appointed black administrator.

While Shanker did fight strenuously to raise the working conditions of teachers, he will forever be associated with the battle in New York City schools that had racial overtones. Years later, he would support the U.S. role in Nicaragua and invite much criticism over that Cold War policy on the part of the leadership of the teachers’ union that he helped to found.

The issues of where children attend schools and who teaches those children reverberates down to the present within the debate of what kids deserve in terms of resources and how those children are treated in public schools across the U.S.

Segregation is an absolute evil because it separates people unnaturally. Separating children based on race or class or economic circumstances is a universal evil!

More articles by:

Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail