Friday, June 21, 2019
District 28 In Queens Tries Integrating Their Schools
I read the article in Chalkbeat that District 28 in Queens is going to try to integrate their schools. While the policy of integration is a worthwhile goal, I believe that the unanticipated consequences will lead to the middle and upper middle class parents taking their children out of the public school system or send their children to relatives who live in the adjoining District 25 or 26 schools.
While District 28 is a highly diverse school district which includes the relatively wealthy White and East Asian communities of Forest Hills and Kew Garden Hills in the far north of the District and the poor Black neighborhood of South Jamaica in the South.
The schools are highly segregated and the school district is going to try to start integrating the schools. How they will achieve integrating the schools has not been spelled out but I cannot see it succeeding without integrating the communities involved.
First, most parents will not allow their children to take public transportation (two buses) and a commute of an hour or more from their homes in the northern part of the school district to schools in South Jamaica and adjoining communities, where the schools are academically low achieving and through dangerous neighborhoods.
Second, most parents want to send their children to neighborhood schools, rich or poor, Black and White. These schools are the social gathering place f0oor families and their children make life long friends through the neighborhood schools.. Integrating the schools destroys the social fabric of the neighborhood schools.
Finally, many families do not own a car and if a problem occurs at the school they cannot easily get to the school to pick up the child.
While District 28's goal is noteworthy I cannot see it succeeding without losing the middle and upper middle class..