Fairness & Equity in Admissions
Exploring an equity based student assignment mechanism: What is Community Controlled Choice?
Community Controlled Choice is a policy framework that has been used since the 1980s to desegregate school districts across the nation. Community Controlled Choice presents the opportunity to make sure that all of our public schools reflect the larger demographics of the District and have fair and equitable access. Controlled Choice also presents a way to fight-back against the growing epidemic in public education: the joined process of the closing of historically under-resourced public schools and the creation of charter schools. Under-utilization has been one key way that the New York City Department of Education tries to justify school closures. Because a key point of a Community Controlled Choice policy framework is the broad community-investment in all schools, no schools get too under- or over- enrolled. Community Controlled Choice also ensures that the community is at the center of the process.
NYC’s Current Student Assignment Plans
Our nation’s schools remain more segregated and unequal than ever. As is commonly noted, schools in the United States are more segregated today than they have been in more than four decades.
“School choice” has come to play an increasingly prominent role in K-12 public education admissions across the U.S. As the nation’s largest school system with about 1.1 million students and nearly 1,700 schools, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) claims to “offer families more choices than any other public education system in the country.”
Yet, “school choice” does not work to advance equity. Instead, “choice” often aligns with race and class based privilege, furthering a two-tiered public education system. The limitations of current choice-based admissions plans have resulted in continued inequity and segregation. Thus, despite New York City’s extraordinarily diverse student population, K-12 education is highly stratified by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, English-language proficiency, and achievement on all grade levels.