Posted on February 1, 2018

In School Together, but Not Learning at the Same Rate

Elizabeth A. Harrisjan, New York Times, January 31, 2018

{snip} But a new analysis from the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School takes a closer look by mapping the achievement gaps within each public elementary school in New York City. The results reveal the challenges of integrating students across the system, and of integrating under one roof.


The report illustrates how closely race, income and academic performance are tied in this city. Almost all students in the study with estimated household incomes below $30,000 were black or Hispanic, while students with household incomes above $80,000 were predominantly white. And the poorer students were, the lower they tended to score on the test, even when they went to the same school as wealthier children.

Take P.S. 8, the Robert Fulton school in Brooklyn Heights, {snip} While 64 percent of its students passed the state math test in 2016, compared with 36 percent of students citywide, black students at the school were nearly a full proficiency level behind their white peers.

Black students at the school also had significantly lower estimated incomes than white students.

Nicole Mader, the co-author of the study, said the lingering achievement gap demonstrates that just having different kinds of students together in the same building is not enough to have true integration. Students must be in the same classrooms, have the same quality of teachers and be disciplined in the same way.

“This is the way we need to start talking about integration,” she said. The study, she said, “shows diversity, and whether a school does or does not have diversity. But there’s a big leap between having diversity and having integration.”


The report also showed that very low-income black and Hispanic students usually go to school almost entirely with one another, encountering very little racial or socioeconomic diversity.