The Department of Education plans to adopt the vast majority of the preliminary recommendations made by the School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG). SDAG is a group of students, educators, parents, advocates and researchers appointed in 2017 to advise the Mayor and Chancellor on policies to advance school diversity and integration. The Department of Education (DOE) plans to adopt 62 of the 67 recommendations including:
- Add metrics to the School Quality Report related to diversity and integration
- Create new diversity targets for Diversity in Admissions pilots based on the specific circumstances of each school community
- Examine Title I and its relationship to integration
- Adopt a common definition of Culturally Relevant Education that will inform and shape work across the DOE
- Provide culturally responsive pedagogical practices at all schools and for all students
- Launch a Task Force to examine PA and PTA capacity – including with resources/fundraising and structure/organizing– to make recommendations to increase capacity for PTAs overall
- Invest in program offerings to ensure high poverty schools have the same curricular, extra-curricular and after school opportunities as schools in more affluent communities
- Study the impact of current initiatives to recruit diverse staff (i.e., NYC Men Teach) and make targeted investments to expand diversity in staff across the City
It is unclear how and when the DOE will fund the implementation of the recommendations. They also do not include any concrete admissions changes to desegregate the system.
The administration also announced that District 13 will be one of the first districts to receive funding as part of the $2 million school diversity grant program to develop its own community-driven school diversity and integration plan. District 13 is one of the districts with enough demographic diversity and includes Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn and Prospect Heights. The $200,000 grant for District 13 will primarily be used to support community planning processes similar to District 15, including engaging community planning firms with expertise in this work, selecting and developing working groups, hosting community meetings and developing a final proposal.
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Photo: PS 307