Segregation up at NYC schools

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One civil rights group claims that New York City has some of the most segregated schools in the country.

Race has long been a tough topic. Segregation in schools is no different. What are the benefits of socio-economic and racial diversity in schools? And how should we prioritize when we look at learning environments? These were some of the questions being asked by school integration advocates at an event at Brooklyn Law School.

New York City Council Member Richie Torres was a panelist.

"The one problem we have here in New York City is extreme segregation.  Where you have schools where 10 percent or less of the students are white and the school is almost exclusively African American or Latino," Torres says.  "The number of exteremlysegretaged schools has risen by 70% since 1989."

James Merriman, CEO of New York City Charter School Center was a sponsor of the event.

"We are not going to go forward if we force people to do this.  There are new schools are being created and charters are being created," Merriman says.

Advocates on desegregation argue the mayor isn't doing enough. Efforts like inclusionary zoning, which set aside 25 percent of new development for affordable housing, is a step in the right direction.

"The real scandal is not that we're failing to acheive diversity here in New York City but that we're not trying," Torres says.