Small School Sports Teams Sidelined?

Friday, May 30, 2014

David Garcia-Rosen, top right, poses with his 2013 International Community High School Baseball Team that he coaches through the Small Schools Athletic League. (Courtesy of David Garcia-Rosen)

In a complaint filed with the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, Small Schools Athletic League founder David Garcia-Rosen argues that the way NYC funds high schools sports shortchanges the small high schools, which also happen to enroll more non-white students. He tells Brian, "It’s either malfeasance or mismanagement…The reality is that students of color and English language learners have way less access to high school sports in New York City than their white counterparts." He acknowledges that the roots of the problem go to the policy of breaking up historically big high schools in favor of smaller more manageable schools without changing the PSAL funding policies, but questions why DOE thought it was more important for some schools to get table tennis and badminton teams, “than for schools in the Mott Haven section of The Bronx to get their very first team.”

He’s joined by Stanley Hernandez a former student, now assistant baseball coach who shares his first-hand experience with how the atmosphere at the school improved when the SSAL brought team sports to his school in his senior year. Garcia-Rosen turned down a job with PSAL and is seeking dedicated funding from the next city budget.


David Garcia-Rosen and Stanley Hernandez

Comments [7]


Passion should not be mistaken for anger - particularly in the case of justice for youth. Even so - anger is, in and of itself, an appropriate response given the issue at hand. We can't take lightly the injustice presented by the DOE/PSAL and it's very negative impact on NYC minority youth. It's about time someone steps up to the plate. And it's admirable that these youth have also been inspired to advocate for themselves through Mr. Garcia Rosen's work. Though ignorance is always commonplace in these types of circumstances, hopefully it won't stand in the way of much needed change in the way that sports funding is unequally distributed.

May. 31 2014 10:22 AM

I commend Mr. Garcia-Rosen for taking the initiative and advocating for students of color and English language learners.
The issues presented stem from years of inequitable distrubution of sports from an institution (PSAL) that looks the other way instead of finding ways to address the problem.
This have been a problem for a long time and unfortunately students of colors are the ones most affected.

I look forward to what the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has to say about it.

May. 30 2014 01:13 PM

This great segment touches just the tip of the civil rights violations in nyc schools. Beth Furtig should join with you to report on what ELL advocates are doing. Luis Reyes, former school committee member, is always a good resource. The Civil Rights Project at UCLA always has research that's relevant to this topic And of course, moi; i am a resource for you!

May. 30 2014 11:07 AM
ann in NYC from Manhattan

Please follow up on this subject Brian. It sounds like a very valid concern and I want to know more! Thanks.

May. 30 2014 10:55 AM
keith from NYC

I have organized and advocated for youth sports for years in NYC. It's a very challenging system with a questionable mandate that often leaves many students at a disadvantage. That said, I am an advocate for introducing the fastest growing professional sport to NYC PSAL, namely ULTIMATE FRISBEE. But it's an uphill struggle and people are unfamiliar with this non-contact, co-ed and highly active (perhaps the most of all field sports) athletic activity that teaches spirit of the game as part of the rules. Please message me if want to talk about how to make this happen.

May. 30 2014 10:51 AM
john from office

Garcia-Rosen, a latin temper with Jewish obsessiveness

May. 30 2014 10:45 AM
john from office

Sounds like an angry man, takes away from his message. The issue here maybe that parents at one school are more active than those at others.

May. 30 2014 10:38 AM

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