NYC SCHOOL OVERVIEW
The New York City public school system comprises 1,856 schools and 1,133,963 students – an enrollment greater than that of 38 states.
The system is home to some of the finest public schools in the country, and some of the worst. A high degree of racial and socioeconomic segregation contributes to unequal opportunities and outcomes. The data analysis below provides a quick look at that segregation and the resulting gaps. For a deeper dive into the numbers, visit the NYC Department of Education data page.
Ethnic Breakdown (%)
2016 Graduation Rate* by Ethnicity
Source: New York City Department of Education, 2015-2016 school year data
THE CASE FOR SCHOOL INTEGRATION
The Episode 1 introduction cites a 2015 This American Life series on school integration from journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. She mentions that the achievement gap between black and white students was cut in half between 1971, the start of wide-scale school integration, and 1988, the peak of school integration. The data below, from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, bears this out. Figures 1 and 2 show that the scores of black students rose sharply during this period, while white scores remained fairly constant. Figures 3 and 4 show the score differential between white and black students over time. Notice the greater than 50% declines in Age 13 and 17 reading scores and nearly 50% declines in Age 13 and 17 math scores.
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