The first map shows the household income of children attending each of the city’s elementary schools (indicated by the colored circles for neighborhood schools, triangles for charters and other schools of choice). School income is then compared to that of people living in each school’s attendance zone (whose boundaries are marked in black), based on median household income estimates from the most recent American Community Survey.
The second map shows both the racial makeup of the students in each school and of the people living in each school attendance zone, based on data from the City’s Department of Education (DOE) and the American Community Survey. Circles and triangles shaded dark blue have high proportions of black and Latino students just as dark blue geographic areas indicate high proportions of black and Latino residents in school zones; those in light blue, lower proportions.
An analysis of these maps suggests that many parents, dissatisfied with their neighborhood schools, vote with their feet and send their children to public gifted programs, schools of choice, charter schools, or private schools. It follows that some racial and economic integration can be achieved without changing zone lines or assigning kids to schools outside their neighborhoods—measures which are often politically fraught. The key is to find ways to encourage more middle-class parents who live in economically mixed neighborhoods (or white and Asian parents living in racially mixed neighborhoods) to send their children to the neighborhood schools—while ensuring that lower income children also receive the education they deserve.