TC's Wells Responds to NY's Interest in Integrating Schools | Teachers College Columbia University

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TC’s Wells Responds to NY’s Interest in Integrating Schools

Amy Stuart Wells, Professor of Sociology & Education
Amy Stuart Wells, Professor of Sociology & Education
TC’s Amy Stuart Wells, a professor of Sociology and Education whose research focuses on race and education and school desegregation, is quoted in a news report which says that the New York State Regents are “clearly interested in shining a light on the importance of integrated schools and programs and requiring at least some districts develop integration plans.” The Regents are “considering adding an integration and diversity policy to a new school accountability system under development,” the report says.

In the article in The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, Wells notes that “the vast majority – about 85 percent – of school segregation exists between rather than within school districts.” Desegregation would require allowing students to transfer between districts. Wells said her research shows this can work. “We certainly know how to do it if we want to do it,” Wells says, although she acknowledged the “political challenges of making widespread headway on inter-district desegregation.”

Wells adds, “politically we are not going to do it, politically we are lucky to have what we have in Rochester,” whose Urban-Suburban Interdistrict Transfer Program allowed over 700 Rochester city students to attend nearby suburban schools last year. Inter-district desegregation transfer programs are “still worth doing,” Wells says, “if for no other reason than it changes some students’ experiences in ways that have a lifelong effect… it changes all of the students’ experiences in the schools that participate.” 

To read the story, go here.

Published Friday, Apr 14, 2017