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Asian parents push stronger school integration fixes


A new coalition of Asian Pacific American parents of city schoolkids will publish an open letter to schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on Tuesday urging an overhaul of admissions procedures used by more than 700 public high school programs.

Some of the loudest voices in the city’s current school segregation debate have been those of members of the Asian community who want to preserve enrollment policies that have been criticized for creating segregation. Under those policies, which are based on the use of a single test for admissions, a relatively high number of Asian students are admitted to top specialized high schools including the Bronx High School of Science and Manhattan’s Stuyvesant High School.

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But now, influential members of the Asian community are calling for a more aggressive approach to diversifying the city’s infamously segregated public schools.

The coalition, which includes representatives from the Coalition for Asian Children and Families and the Chinese American Planning Council, wants to level the playing field for all kids by increasing the number of black and Hispanic kids in top schools.

Coalition spokeswoman Shino Tanikawa said the new group wants Carranza to take stronger action to diversify all city schools and not just eight specialized high schools that took center stage in a pitched desegregation debate after Mayor de Blasio backed a plan last June to diversify them.

Tanikawa’s group wants Carranza to adopt recommendations published by the School Diversity Advisory Group that was created by de Blasio in 2017.

In February, the Advisory Group issued a report containing more than 70 suggestions created within a framework of five recommendations formulated in 2018 by a student group called IntegrateNYC. The so-called 5R’s include a call to consider race in school enrollment decisions, a demand for equitable resources across city schools and a push for culturally responsive lessons in all classrooms.

Tanikawa said Carranza and de Blasio need to heed those recommendations as they move ahead with efforts to diversify city schools, which have been identified as some of the most segregated in the United States.