Mayor Bill de Blasio formally approved a plan to diversify schools in Brooklyn’s District 15 on Thursday by scrapping screened admissions and shifting to a lottery system.
Flanked by schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, de Blasio spoke at MS 51 in Park Slope, a highly coveted middle school that was attended by both of his kids.
The initiative would toss the current competitive admissions structure in favor of a lottery format that would reserve roughly half the seats in each of the district’s middle schools for applicants who are low-income, homeless, or learning English.
Critics of the city’s stark racial school clustering argue that the existing process — which sorts by academic metrics and other measures — unfairly blockades underprivileged kids from desirable campuses.
District 15, which includes Park Slope, Sunset Park and Red Hook, has been presented as an exemplar of a lack of diversity in NYC schools.
While 55 percent of the district’s middle schoolers are minorities, 81 percent of white students attend just three schools — including MS 51.
The new plan has benefited politically from considerable grassroots support from local parents.
“The momentum for diversity is growing,” de Blasio said. “The momentum for change is growing.”
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