With a single tweet, Chancellor Richard Carranza managed to escalate the city’s baneful desegregation wars.
He likely didn’t realize that he made the inflammatory headline off the Raw Story site seem to be his take: “WATCH: Wealthy white Manhattan parents angrily rant against plan to bring more black kids to their schools.” But there’s no excuse for carelessness here.
Yes, those Upper West Side parents oppose the District 3 desegregation plan — but not because it means hope for other parents’ children, but from fear it will doom their own kids to a failing school.
The plan would set aside a quarter of seats at the district’s high-performing middle schools for kids who score below grade level on state math or reading tests. This means that some kids who score well must go elsewhere — perhaps to schools that stink.
Parents who sacrificed (paying far more to live in a “good” school zone) to set their kids up for success are understandably furious at having the rug pulled out from under them.
Meanwhile (and this gets left out of the Raw Story equation), most minority kids in the district would still be out of luck — because the regular public-school system has no idea how to create quality schools, especially for low-income blacks and Hispanics.
It can be done — Catholic schools have done it for decades, and public charters such as the Success network are doing it, too.
But that means jettisoning the bureaucracy and union privileges of the regular public system and accepting no excuses for not achieving excellence.
Carranza’s now in charge of finding answers. Tossing fuel on the fire is a bad start.
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