New York City’s 1.1 million public school students head back to school today, but it’s been a busy summer for Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. Just last week, the mayor’s task force on diversity grabbed headlines with proposals to change some admissions rules and rethink gifted and talented programs. That news follows efforts to update curricula, revamp school discipline, and replace the single-test admissions to the city’s specialized high schools.

All the changes have stirred up Carranza’s critics. Three white women who were demoted at the DOE have sued the chancellor for discrimination. There’s a near-constant stream of critical editorials in the New York Post. Carranza isn’t backing down.

”There are forces in this city that want me to be the good minority and just be quiet,“ the chancellor said in June. “I will not be silenced. I will not be quiet. I will not give up my God given right to express myself in English and en Espanol.”

Here are a few of the bigger changes we’re tracking during the 2019-2020 school year:

Integration now: Two school districts changed middle school admissions last year in ways that could significantly shift school demographics.

District 15 spanning Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook and Sunset Park got rid of selective admissions for middle school (“screens”) and switched to a lottery with priority for students from low-income families, temporary housing and English Language Learners. As a result, admissions numbers changed dramatically at some schools. At popular M.S. 51 in Park Slope, just a third of admitted students came from the three designated priority groups last year. This year, more than half of the students admitted did. In contrast, last year at I.S. 136 Charles O. Dewey in Sunset Park, 91 percent of admitted students came from the priority groups. That number went down to 67 percent this year. Some parents unhappy with their assignments have said they’re switching to private school.

In District 3 on the Upper West Side, priority for a quarter of admissions went to students with lower test scores or grades or who come from low-income families. The fight over this particular plan sparked this viral tweet.

It’s not clear how the initial admissions numbers will translate into true demographic change. Final enrollment numbers are due out this fall.

Bias training and “culturally responsive” curriculum: Chancellor Carranza has required implicit bias trainings for all staff. The idea is to ensure that adults in the school system are aware of unconscious beliefs related to race, gender, sexuality, class and to try to address them. (Fox News talking head Tucker Carlson said there should be “implicit goodness trainings” instead.)

Carranza’s blueprint Equity and Excellence For All, hangs on the idea that equity in the classroom will lead to greater academic achievement. This year he needs to show it works.

To that end, this summer the school system adopted a definition of what constitutes a “culturally responsive” curriculum. According to the new definition, courses should include “the rich, cultural, racial, historical, linguistic characteristics of students to provide mirrors that reflect the greatness of who their people are.” Chancellor Carranza has said that means everything from including diverse authors on English reading lists to talking about how Mayans developed the concept of zero in math. Officials said they’ll be rolling out more tools as the year goes on.

Is the bus going to show up?: Buses were a big problem last year. They were late or didn’t show up at all. There were reports of students having to give drivers directions, and horror stories of students stranded during a snowstorm. In response, all school buses are now outfitted with GPS devices for the first time. Coming next, a tracking device that can give parents real-time updates on students’ status.

Lead:. A WNYC investigation prompted the city to release data showing more than 1,800 elementary school classrooms had deteriorated lead paint. Officials said classroom for 3K, Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st Grade have been remediated: Custodians inspected 8,438 rooms across all five boroughs, and have successfully remediated all 1,860 impacted rooms. The city is encouraging parents to input any peeling paint they observe in this database. And following calls from City Council to expand inspections, the officials promise to inspect cafeterias and libraries as well. But parents and politicians remain concerned.

Getting testy: Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza must decide whether to accept diversity task force recommendations to replace test-in Gifted and Talented programs; and eliminate middle school screens such as test scores, grades, auditions, lateness and attendance. This comes after they lost traction in Albany on eliminating the single-test admissions for the specialized high schools.

Listen to Jessica Gould discuss the new school year with Jami Floyd on WNYC: