New York

Wayback Wednesday: School boycotts in New York City history

The GothamSchools Time Machine With Chicago schoolchildren in the midst of a three-day school boycott, I thought the GothamSchools time machine might take a jaunt through school boycotts in New York City's history. The biggest boycotts took place in 1964 to protest racial segregation in the city's schools. After school officials produced an integration plan that rejected busing as an option and lacked a timeline for implementation, civil rights leaders called for a one-day school boycott. To organize the protest, black leaders tapped Bayard Rustin, fresh off organizing the March on Washington at which Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" address. On Feb. 3, 1964, 464,362 of the city's 1 million schoolchildren stayed home, making the boycott "the largest civil rights demonstration in U.S. history," Time Magazine reported at the time, noting that black leaders initially considered the protest "a whoopee success" while at the same time the president of the city's Board of Education disparaged it as "a fizzle." A smaller boycott in March, which only some of the first boycott's organizers supported, drew about a quarter of all students in favor of integration. About the same number of students also boycotted the start of school that fall — but they were spearheaded by Parents and Taxpayers, a group that opposed busing and the dissolution of neighborhood schools. Over the summer, the U.S. Supreme Court had released its landmark Brown v. Board of Education opinion, but because New York's schools were segregated because of residential segregation, not an official city policy, the ruling barely registered in the ongoing boycott saga. Ultimately, not even the city's limited integration plan ever went into effect. The 1964 school boycotts were certainly the largest, but they weren't the first, the last, or the most effective.
New York

New York City redefines poverty, taking cost of living into account

New York

Million Father March involves fathers in education

Maurice Jordan with his children on the first day of school. "If you know where your kids are, step up to your responsibilities and be a man," Maurice Jordan, father of Shakim, 13, and Muneerah, 5, said this morning, as he accompanied his children to school. Fatherhood, he said, is "an easy job, it's a fun job." Jordan, who says he got custody of his children last year, believes his involvement in their education has led to academic success. "Between these two, I think it's like thirty awards and certificates last year." To promote this kind of involvement, organizers from churches, community organizations, and the Office of Children and Family Services encouraged fathers — and other male relatives — to walk their children to school today as part of New York City's Million Father March. The march, sponsored nationally by The Black Star Project, the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and other organizations, aimed to highlight the importance of fathers in their children's education. At C.S. 133 in Harlem, parents arriving with their children were greeted warmly by school administrators and teachers, event organizer Melvin Aston of the Office of Children and Family Services, and City Council Member Inez Dickens. Dickens said that fathers must be encouraged to step out from their traditional behind-the-scenes roles and play a more public role in their children's lives. "We need to show them, it's all right for you to bring your child to school instead of the mother, it's all right for you to bring them to a doctor's appointment." Both boys and girls benefit from having an involved father, she added. The movement focused on one school in each borough this year, although fathers throughout the city were encouraged to walk their children to school, according to Deb Jenkins, Senior Pastor of the Faith @ Work Church, who organized the Bronx event. "When a father is present, we see that the academic outcomes are greater," Jenkins said.
New York

In quest for equity, Chicago students to boycott school Tuesday