Fariña responds broadly on school segregation, with few hints of a stand

Chancellor Carmen Fariña responded broadly to concerns that the city’s schools were too segregated, a theme that’s picked up steam as Saturday’s 60th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education ruling has neared.

A statement from Fariña didn’t directly address some of the issues sparked by the milestone, including whether districts are doing enough to mix schools with students based on their socioeconomic status. Nor did it respond to State Education Commissioner John King’s remarks this week that the city school system fosters segregation through selective school admissions and rigid neighborhood enrollment zones.

Fariña did say that she was “disappointed with the findings” in a recent report finding New York State to have the most segregated schools in the country. And she said the Department of Education supported “integrated, culturally-rich environments” for children to learn.

But she offered few hints about what her position is on the issues raised by King and whether there are any plans to address them.

Here’s the complete statement:

“As we mark the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling, we are disappointed with the findings of the recent UCLA report on segregation in our schools. With a multicultural student body that is 40% Latino, 29% black, 15% Asian, and 15% white, we celebrate the incredible diversity in our schools, and support integrated, culturally-rich environments in which all of our students learn from one another and grow together. We recognize that for our students to achieve success, we must close the achievement gap, not just for high school graduation but for entry into college and careers. This is what we at the Department of Education are committed to delivering.”