"Redlining" and NYC Schools

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

John H. Jackson, president and ceo of the Schott Foundation, and Michael Holzman, lead author of the Schott Foundation report on inequities in the NYC school system, talk about their report and the data they say shows poor Black and Hispanic students are given fewer opportunities in NYC schools.


Michael Holzman and John H. Jackson

Comments [24]

Vern from Harlem

I don't mean to cast aspersions on affluent PTAs or Charter Schools infusing funds into their schools. I just meant to point out that it creates an unfair advantage since those resources are being infused in a way that creates an unfair advantage. Making the most vulnerable schools, students, and parents even more so.

No doubt hundred of students who receive the highest grades on the G&T tests are tutored. But this problem is much larger than G&T admissions; it's really about the diminishing worth of a free public education.

May. 02 2012 01:47 PM

To the authors of this book: I was a child of immigrant parents who worked two jobs each and NEVER had money for any tutors or support and who barely spoke English, so they certainly didn't tutor me themselves. However, I was categorized gifted and talented from the start in elementary school, presumably due to my own abilities. I believe that if the student is truly G&T, they will show this on the test in the classroom regardless of race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. You just seem very angry that parents, through tutors or by themselves, are prepping their children for kindergarten and consequently better performance on IQ tests. You don't seem to be arguing that worthy poor children are being denied entrance into G&T programs.

May. 02 2012 12:20 PM

Having been involved in school fundraising through my child's years in school, I become very frustrated when these "experts" seem to blame the inequity in the schools on the "wealthy" parents who fundraise for their child's school. Fundraising is a very fickle game and one year's success resulting in funds for aids, or a smart board might not be repeated in subsequent years if the right parents or parent connections are not involved, or have moved up or out of the school. To base state/city funding distribution based on fundraising success is unfair and inequitable.

LAURA - Have you ever chaired a tricky tray for your school? It results in many sleepless nights of work. There would be NO WAY that I would ever do such tedious and sacrificial work for someone else's school. I am a working mother, who was also a single mother for many years through elementary school, and I am FAR from wealthy. The fundraising we achieved was less about the middle and working class parents donating money and more about their coming together and WORKING to tap resources for a cause.

May. 02 2012 12:07 PM
cee from New Jersey

I am a graduate of the Newark school system (Weequahic, 1970 and Maple Ave., 1967). I think that what looks like family income is really the education of mothers. I was in tracked classes the entire time I was in school. These classes were decidedly more white than the school overall, but did include black students (there were few if any Hispanic and Asian students). What we all had in common was mothers who insisted that we do our homework, were able to answer our questions and correct that homework, made sure we got a good night's sleep, had clean clothes and breakfast. They did this because they thought that school was important and they had the resources to enforce that opinion. These are the moms you see taking their kids to the library on Saturday and included kids of single mothers and kids who rode the bus from the projects to go to a school in a "better" neighborhood.

May. 02 2012 11:38 AM
Noah E Gotbaum from Manhattan

The redlining takes many forms but all evolve around resources. Fair student funding cut. Early childhood learning cut. After school programs cut. Remedial support - never given. Charters cream skim highest performing kids/parents while overloading public schools with higher needs kids (which DOE estimates to cost $10-20k per year more). The DOE overburdens, cuts loose and then closes schools serving poorer kids while cream skimming the more affluent kids for their smaller new schools. We shouldn't be surprised given that our system is now driven by Darwinian business principles and competition which create winners and losers, blaming and cast out the most needy.

Meanwhile the Governor, Mayor and the businessmen who are running our schools and forcing all of these cuts in order to preserve tax breaks for the wealthy crow that "money is not the problem" - while sending their own children to private schools that spend upwards of $60k per year, per student - 3-4x more than NYC's public schools. For their kids money may not be the problem, but for our public schools and especially those serving the poorest and most needy kids, money most certainly IS the problem.

May. 02 2012 11:31 AM
bernie from bklyn

why do poor chinese and indian/pakistani kids in nyc do well in school? because their parents CARE and believe that getting a free education is incredibly beneficial and they make sure their kids take full advantage.
it's all about the parents. it's that simple.

May. 02 2012 11:16 AM
brooklynmom78 from Park Slope, Brooklyn

First off, I want to say that I agree that all children should have equal opportunity for testing, and ideally, all children who test at the gifted level should be allowed into G&T programs. I can only speak for myself, but I can say that I was a G&T student as a child, but my parents did not tutor me or prepare me for testing. I learned how to read by watching my father's finger moving along story book pages. My parents were low income at the time and I did not have any extra lessons/privileges that other children did not have. I noticed that my children also pick things up very easily. I do not pay for tutoring for them, they just seem to have an innate talent, especially for language. The idea that some intellectual differences may be innate is a dirty idea, but it needs to be addressed when examining these issues.

May. 02 2012 11:14 AM
Michoel from NY area

"Any test where performance can be improved by tutoring is not an IQ test"

That needs some clarification. It is well known that IQ is fluid, and especially so in young people. Before we say categorically that tutoring does not effect performance on a valid IQ test, perhaps we need define what we mean by tutoring.

May. 02 2012 11:05 AM
Mike from Inwood

The correlation between Socio-economic Status of parents and school outcomes is one of the oldest in educational research. The idea that schools should have equal resources is very good and should happen, but it will not be a panacea. The much more costly problems outside of school that affect children's readiness to learn must be addressed if this country is going to succeed.
The turn over of teachers in low income schools where students have a much higher percentage of students with special education students and behavioral problems is also well documented. This not based on a desire for an "easy job". It is based on the desire of most people who enter the teaching profession to teach--which is always an intellectually challenging task--not to baby sit for a group of frustrated students while a few children--damaged by their impoverished home and or neighborhood environments--with behavioral problems disrupt the learning process and hold the entire classroom hostage.

May. 02 2012 10:59 AM
Al Sacco

Correction: Bank "redlining" was not just targeted at blacks, it was
also used against white home owners. Park Slope Brooklyn was where
"redlining" was first exposed. In those days it was predominately a
white community. Tks. Al Sacco. ( a long time Brooklyn resident).

May. 02 2012 10:58 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

Laura, again - parents will donate for their OWN kids, not for other people's. Pie in the sky is very tasty, but it's not going to happen.

May. 02 2012 10:58 AM
poley from queens

Its not the tutoring...

Its parents getting the test giver to tutor your child...

They pay them for wink tutoring

May. 02 2012 10:58 AM
Alison from Manhattan

And the tutoring that the wealthier parents pay for??? Talk about that too - with ALL of these tests as of Kindergarten - it is truly disgusting! If you have $$$ your kid does better - has NOTHING to do with intelligence but $$$$$- Went throught this as well with the spec HS admis test - if you don't have the $$ for the tutoring your kid is disadvantaged!!! READ THIS!!!

May. 02 2012 10:57 AM
harry from nyc

Brian the G and T test numbers are off because people are hiring teachers that will proctor your child is hired to tutor your child...

Money buys you the PROCTOR who will give your child the test

May. 02 2012 10:56 AM

Why not make sure that at least some part of parents donations has to be equally distributed among all schools?

May. 02 2012 10:56 AM
Juan from Westchester

It is politics. Each group will advocate for its interest. We need to focus on poverty. That is the main problem!

May. 02 2012 10:56 AM
The Truth from Becky

This problem is not exclusive to NY...but it is shame to see more than 20 years later, nothing has changed. What exactly do people have against the poor?

May. 02 2012 10:55 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

Alison, parents will NOT contribute if they know that the money they give is not going to benefit their own kids. And then there will be no PTA money to share.

May. 02 2012 10:55 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

INtegration is easier said than done - especially by Liberals !

May. 02 2012 10:54 AM
Julie from nyc

Schools in low income areas get more funding dollars.

I believe its called Title I

May. 02 2012 10:54 AM
Alison from manhattan

HEY!!! The extra resources come from the wealthy PTAs who are you guys kidding??!!!! I wish I could call in - I am on the UES and was horrified when I started sending my kids to the local great school on York Ave - thinking how unfortunate those 30 blocks North were - but the extras ALL COME FROM THE PARENTS they don't have that in those red zones - come on everyone get real!! OPEN YOUR EYES!! The chancellor should mandate sharing the PTA money!!!! This gets me angry... PLS READ THIS!

May. 02 2012 10:51 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Access to a decent education has more to do with class and culture than with race.

May. 02 2012 10:49 AM
Julie from nyc

Most teachers DO NOT want to work in "bad schools"...

they complain about the parents lack of involvement and when they do get involved its usually in a threatening and violent way...

Being poor sucks...

May. 02 2012 10:49 AM

This has been well known by teachers for years. My wife teaches in a NYC school that is overwhelmingly black and hispanic - they get no support. This is playing out in the latest round of school closures as well. Take a look at the demographics of the schools that city has deemed to be failing - they're all populated by minorities, and the city would rather shut them down than give them adequate support.

May. 02 2012 10:48 AM

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