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New York Civil Liberties Union
May 30, 2017
City Councilmen Brad Lander and Ritchie Torres sign on to letter calling for citywide plan to desegregate schools
The city is expected to release a "bigger vision" plan by June to encourage school diversity.
December 2, 2016
Six stats that show how black and Latino students in New York City are subjected to disproportionate policing
The numbers are based on NYPD data released for the first time this year.
Where's the data?
August 16, 2016
NYPD misses deadline to report student interactions with police
“It’s disappointing that the NYPD has had a year to get ready to report this information and hasn’t been able to do so."
By the numbers
October 31, 2014
Spring suspensions drop as overall figures hold steady
Virtually the same number of students were suspended in 2013-14 as were suspended the year before, ending a recent trend of steep declines, according to new data from the Department of Education.
October 31, 2013
Suspensions fall, but disparities for some students persist
Student suspensions have plummeted in the last school year, but the rate is falling more slowly for black students and students with special needs, according to an analysis of new disciplinary data released by the Department of Education. A total of 53,465 suspensions were handed out to students in the 2012-2013 school year, a 23 percent decrease over the 2011-2012 school year, when nearly students received nearly 70,000 suspensions. That's a significantly larger decline since the numbers began dropping in 2011-2012, after a new transparency law began requiring the city to release detailed data about suspensions and student safety. "Sunshine is a great medicine," said Johanna Miller, advocacy director at New York Civil Liberties Union, which pushed for the transparency laws in 2010.
October 29, 2013
Report cites connection between “stop and frisk,” school suspensions
School suspensions and police stops on the street are highest in the same neighborhoods with many black and Latino residents, according to a new…
September 4, 2013
Police arrests and tickets in school down, but racial gap persists
Jessica Morillo, a student who said she was tackled by school safety agents and issued a disorderly conduct summons after losing her temper on her way into school after a doctor's appointment. The number of students getting arrested or ticketed by New York City police officers during school is trending down, according to updated police statistics released last week. The decline comes in the second school year for which the New York City Police Department, which governs school safety, has been required to publicly report how many student arrests it makes and summonses it gives out. It is also required to report the data disaggregated by gender, race, age and the category of offense. Despite the dip, racial disparities in the arrests have remained constant, which critics say is a signal that sweeping changes to student safety policies are still needed. During a six-month period this year, spanning from January to June 30, police made 360 students arrests, a 33 percent decline over the same period in 2012, according to data collected by the New York Civil Liberties Union. For the same period, 465 summonses were handed out, a 50 percent decline compared to the previous year. More than half of the summonses issued were for disorderly conduct, behavior that includes fighting, obscene language, or other kinds of public disturbances.
August 14, 2012
Bronx students got half of in-school police summonses last year
About 21 percent of the city's middle- and high-schoolers attend schools in the Bronx. But 48 percent of the summonses that police handed out in schools last year went to Bronx students. That is one statistic about policing in city schools that the New York Civil Liberties Union is highlighting now that it has a full year of school policing data in hand. Since last year, the New York Police Department has been required to publish information every three months about arrests it has made and summonses it has issued in schools, where it has more than 5,000 officers assigned. Between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, police officers made 882 arrests in city schools and issued 1,666 summonses for behavior, according to the NYCLU's tally of the year's data. Virtually all of the arrests — more than 95 percent — were for black and Latino students, who make up about 70 percent of the city's enrollment. Three quarters were of male students. And 20 percent were of students between the ages of 11 and 14. Two-thirds of the summonses were issued for "disorderly behavior," a category of offense that the NYLCU argues usually amounts to typical teenaged behavior. Those behaviors are best dealt with by educators, not by directing students into the criminal justice system, the group argues.
June 29, 2012
Schools without Regents exams cite success amid shifting tides
City high schools that don't require students to take Regents exams beat city averages on most metrics, even though they serve high-need students at the same rate as other schools, according to a new report. The report, released this week, was produced by a group of the schools, the New York Performance Standards Consortium. But it examines independent data about student performance and persistence in college to find that students in consortium schools graduate at higher rates and are more likely to attend and remain enrolled in college. And it comes as Department of Education officials are increasingly touting the consortium's approach to assessment. The graduation rates are especially high for students with disabilities and English language learners. Nearly 70 percent of ELLs in consortium schools graduate on time, according to the report, compared to about 40 percent across the city. And half of students with disabilities in the consortium schools graduate on time, compared with fewer than a quarter citywide. "What's in [the report] is dynamite," said Michelle Fine, a professor of urban education at City University of New York's Graduate Center. Fine was speaking at a press conference hosted by the New York Civil Liberties Union on alternatives to high-stakes testing earlier this week to announce that more than 1,100 academics had signed a letter opposing states' increasingly reliance on test scores.
June 18, 2012
Court rules NY human rights law doesn't cover public schools
New York public school students have fewer options for recourse against discrimination today than they did a week ago. The state's highest court ruled last week that public school students cannot use New York's human rights law to seek recognition of discrimination — or get financial compensation when discrimination has taken place. Never before have courts ruled that such a large group of constituents is not protected by the law, said Rebecca Shore, the director of litigation for Advocates for Children, which aims to protect low-income students from discrimination. New York's human rights law, the first of its kind when it was passed in 1945, prohibits discrimination based on "age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex or marital status" in a variety of settings, including "non-sectarian educational institutions," according to the State Division of Human Rights. Individuals can file complaints with the state's Division of Human Rights and seek restitution, all without paying for a lawyer. But after two school districts contested the human rights division's jurisdiction to investigate and fine them, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled in a 4-3 decision that the division cannot probe discrimination claims in public schools.
February 22, 2012
Average of five students arrested per day at city schools last fall
Students and advocates rally at police headquarters after the release of data on arrests and police incidents at city schools. Police officers arrested more students and handed out more tickets in schools as the school year got underway, according to new data released today. On average, five students were arrested per day on school grounds between October and December 2011. Those statistics come from a trove of data the New York Police Department is required to release under a relatively new law mandating the disclosure of information about in-school arrests and suspensions. The first data dump, released in late November and compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union, showed police had arrested or ticketed roughly four students per day on school grounds between July and September. Both reports show that disproportionate number of black and Latino students were being arrested and ticketed. 74.9 percent of those arrested during the fall quarter were male, and 93.5 percent were black or Latino. Black and Latino students make up about 71 percent of students in city schools. Over the 55 school-day period between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, NYPD reported nearly 2,300 incidents. Of those, 279 resulted in arrests and 532 in summonses. According to NYCLU's analysis, 63 percent of summonses were for disorderly conduct. of the arrests, about 120, or 40 percent, were labelled as assault or related to assault. This afternoon, politicians joined representatives from the ACLU's New York chapter and several student advocacy groups to decry the statistics as evidence that police involvement in schools leads to racial discrimination and a fearful environment. As a ring of police officers looked on, advocates rallying outside of NYPD headquarters said they would like the City Council to revisit the issue of the NYPD role in schools now that the council's Student Safety Act is is in effect.
December 1, 2011
Students, advocates rail against suspension trends at hearing
Nilesh Wishwasrao, a former student at Flushing High School, said he's been suspended from school so many times that he finally lost count. "Their first reaction was always a suspension," Wishwasrao recalled Wednesday at a City Council hearing about the Department of Education's suspension data released last month. Wishwasrao said he was suspended "constantly" for what he said were small infractions, such as chewing gum and wearing a hat in school. Sometimes he was more disruptive, "talking back to a teacher, yelling at a dean." Finally, Wishwasrao testified, a guidance counselor met with his father to explain that high school probably wasn't right for him and "it would be better if I get a GED rather than a high school diploma." Wishwasrao never graduated and is now pursuing his GED. Wishwasrao was part of a chorus of criticism from students and advocates who testified at the hearing, held by the City Council's education committee. Their testimonies came directly after DOE officials shed more light on suspensions in the city schools and promised changes to how some suspensions are handled. At least 45,939 students — or 4.5 percent of the city's student population — were suspended during the 2010-2011 school year, Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm said in her testimony. The majority of them — 70 percent — were suspended just once, she said, but more than one in 10 — about 6,000 students — were suspended three or more times.
November 28, 2011
New data show arrests in schools mostly of black, Latino males
New York City police officers arrested or ticketed an average of four students per day in schools over a four-month period this summer and fall. The statistic comes from New York Police Department data released today under the terms of a new city law that requires the Department of Education and NYPD to disclose information about arrests and suspensions that take place in schools. A total of 63 arrests – one fifth of them for felonies – were made and 182 summonses issued in city schools over a span of 50 school days between July and September, according to the data, which the New York Civil Liberties Union published on its website. Most of the quarterly reporting period took place during the summer session, when enrollment is just 10 percent of the school-year total. Arrest totals are likely to be much higher when school is in session full time. More than a third of the students arrested — 22 — were charged with assault, and more than half of summonses issued were for disorderly conduct. Riding a bike on the sidewalk was the second most common reason cited when issuing a summons, which typically requires a student to take time off of school to appear in court. More than 80 percent of students arrested were male and 44 percent were younger than 16. All but four of the students arrested were black or Latino.
November 3, 2011
NYPD is urged to be like the DOE and release school safety data
The release of school-by-school suspension tallies earlier this week was a triumph to advocates who spent years pushing the city to make school safety data transparent. But it was only a partial win. That's because the New York Police Department is also required to release school safety numbers under the terms of the Student Safety Act, which the City Council passed nearly a year ago. The NYPD was supposed to report data about summons and arrests made by school safety agents and about non-criminal incidents in school buildings twice already, in August and again this week. But so far it has released no data. When the police department missed the first deadline, officials said they were moving slowly to ensure accuracy with the complicated data, the Daily News reported at the time. Today, Paul Browne, an NYPD spokesman, said the department would release the data "after the [computer] programming is completed and the data is carefully tabulated and checked in such a way to insure complete, accurate and reliable reporting to the City Council." The New York Civil Liberties Union, which was instrumental in convincing council members to pass the Student Safety Act, is pushing NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to pick up the pace. Today, the NYCLU sent Kelly a letter today expressing concern about the "unreasonable delay" in releasing the data, noting that the DOE met its reporting deadline despite having to collect similarly complex numbers.
November 1, 2011
For first time, DOE details school safety, suspension numbers
Principals and superintendents suspended a disproportionally high number of black and special needs students last year, according to data the Department of Education released today to comply with a new law. Of the 73,441 suspensions in the 2010-2011 school year, more than 50 percent were black and thirty percent had individualized education plans, according to the data. In contrast, black students make up 33 percent of city enrollment and students requiring special education services make up 17 percent. "These are outrageous numbers," said Udi Ofer, Advocacy Director for New York Civil Liberties Union, a group that has closely followed suspension data for more than a decade. "It shows a policy and practice that has a grossly disproportionate impact on black and special needs children." It is the first time that the DOE is providing disaggregated data about student suspensions to the public under the Student Safety Act, which City Council passed last year after years of lobbying by NYCLU and other advocacy groups. In previous years, the DOE has only been required to release overall suspensions under state law.
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