To the Editor:
Your editorial of Dec. 24-30, “A New Wrinkle on School Segregation,” is misleading. There is nothing new in this city about white parents who avoid sending their children to schools with predominately black/Hispanic enrollments.
This is one of the main reasons why New York City’s schools remain largely segregated 50 years after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Charter schools likewise are just as segregated as public schools but unlike public school officials make no pretense that integration or increased diversity is a part of its overall plans for its classes.
The issue of school segregation has been moribund until recently. Its awakening can be traced to a smattering of complaints, a presupposed liberalism tarnished by its education system being repeatedly cited as one of the most segregated in the country and a mayor only half through his term busily meeting with his political consultants planning his reelection.
The few steps taken thus far to address the segregation issue have been superficial. Timid education officials are fearful of alienating white parents who are more politically savvy. There is in fact no in-depth short or long-term master plan being considered to address this long existing problem. The department of education is a top-heavy bureaucracy, which I believe lack the commitment, the vigor or the vision required to break free of its longstanding, very comfortable status quo positions.
B. Wallace Cheatham