New York City to accept advisory group recommendations on school diversity

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City public schools are taking a big step towards improving diversity.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza say they will be accepting 62 recommendations proposed by the independent School Diversity Advisory Group.

It 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 city announced that Districts 9, 13, 16, 28 and 31 will be the first districts to receive funding as part of the $2 million school diversity grant program to develop their own community-driven school diversity and integration plans.

New York City schools are some of the most segregated in the country. Some are all white, while others are almost all black. The plan would let schools write their own enrollment rules and eliminate academic screens or tests if they choose to do so.

Carranza was asked about his work on diversity, and plans to hire more people of color.

"There are forces in this city that want me to be the good minority and just be quiet, don't say a word, don't bring the race issue up," said Carranza. "I will not be silenced. I will not be quiet. I will not give up my God-given right to express myself."

"There's no one who knows better how to diversify our school system than our students, parents and teachers," said de Blasio. "Accepting the School Diversity Advisory Group's recommendations and awarding diversity grants to five new school districts are crucial steps forward toward ensuring that every student, no matter their zip code, has access to a school where they can thrive, and a natural next step for our Equity and Excellence agenda."

The key recommendations including adding metrics to the School Quality Report related to diversity and integration, and creating a General Assembly with representatives from every high school to develop a citywide student agenda and vote on key issues.

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