According to new data released by the NYPD [pdf], an average of one student is arrested every day in the city's school system, and three others are issued summonses. During summer school from July through September, four students each day are arrested, and 94% of those arrested are black or Latino, and 83% are male. "The data raise concerns about black students being disproportionately arrested in the city's schools," Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the NYCLU says in a release. "If the Bloomberg administration is truly serious about closing the achievement gap, then they must address this disparity and focus more attention on educating children—not arresting them.”
The figures, which were released due to the passage of the Student Safety Act mostly cover summer school, and the law requires the NYPD to release numbers spanning from April 1 through June 30, which the department has still yet to do. While the Department of Education does not release the demographics of students in summer school, black and Latino students make up 85% of the students who score a 1 on the English Language Arts exam and 90% of the students who score a 1 on the mathematics exam in 8th grade. All students who score less than 2 are required to retake the exams in summer school.
54% of the summonses issued were for disorderly conduct, and 63% of all the summonses issued over the time period were handed out at schools in the Bronx and Queens. “Instead of arresting students who need the most help, the Bloomberg administration should redirect resources from police to services that support student achievement," Udi Ofer, NYCLU's advocacy director says. "Why are we employing 5,400 police personnel and only 3,000 guidance counselors?”
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott tells the Daily News that he will use the numbers to "examine disparities in race and ethnicity," but points out that school crime is down 49% over the last decade. It's worth noting that nationally, the standardized testing gap between low-income students and wealthy is 40% bigger than it was in 1970.