Teens Take Charge of School Integration and Educational Equity

Hi everyone,

My name is Sokhnadiarra Ndiaye, and I am a student activist. I start with this because I recently discovered my love of activism late last year, and I can say, almost without a doubt, that this is what I am going to spend the rest of my life doing.

I am a student-leader at Teens Take Charge, which is a youth-led organization that fights for educational equity in New York City. As some of you may know, New York City, one of the most diverse cities in the world, houses one of the most segregated school systems in the country. That is wrong!

Teens Take Charge is currently at the height of its Enrollment Equity Campaign, through which we are tackling high school segregation from the lense of admissions. You can definitely check us out here. Until then, I can give a quick summary of our three main policies below, but you can find out more on our website:

  1. High school directory: We demand that the DOE publish accurate data in the high school directory and better support 8th grade students in the application process
  2. Specialized High School Test reform: Rather than there being a single test that determines whether students get into a specialized high school that is filled with resources and everything they may need to succeed in high school, we are calling instead for the top 7% of every middle school to have a seat reserved for them in the specialized high schools (whether or not they choose to go is up to them).
  3. Academic diversity: Ensure that at least 25% and no more than 75% of each high school’s incoming freshman class has passed middle school state tests. That way, we can achieve academic diversity within the schools, and all students benefit.

If you have any questions, please reach out! We all need to work together to make sure that students are getting the education they need to succeed.

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Hi Sokhnadiarra! I checked out the Enrollment Equity Plan and appreciate this sentence the most.

Our plan targets screening at the highest performing schools but also addresses the extreme concentrations of low-performing students on the opposite end of the system. Increasing diversity at a handful of sought after schools is not the purpose of this plan. We want to create equity and integration across the entire system, and we think the following proposals are a good place to start.

Would the Specialized High Schools also need to meet the academic diversity numbers of at least 25% and no more than 75% of each high school’s incoming freshman class has passed middle school state tests? Or are they the exception to the academic diversity policy?

By the way, congrats on the rally the other day. You had a HUGE turnout!

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