'We may disagree on the test, but we all agree there's a problem with the system.'
'You know these are going to be tough conversations and it's going to really call on us to determine where do we land, where is our moral compass, understanding that some communities have very strong feelings about this.'
The district will set aside 25 percent of seats for students who qualify for free lunch and who are lower performing.
Critics say the DOE has failed to address the underlying issue, which is segregation.
The bill is part of an effort to address a space crunch that has half of the city's school students attending overcrowded schools.
So far, there hasn't been a noticeable shift in racial demographics in the grades impacted by the rezoning.
"The children of the Amsterdam Houses have suffered from a blind eye turned towards them for decades."
"We're going to Catholic School," one parent said. "And I'm Jewish, so I'm really not happy. We already have the paperwork."
"It seems that the people living closest to 199 are being punished by being sent to another school just because they want to somehow diversify the student body."
Tens of thousands of low-income elementary school students in New York City attend public schools that exist as socioeconomic and racial islands within diverse neighborhoods.
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