Amy Wells: New Generation of Urban Parents Want Multicultura... | Teachers College Columbia University

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Amy Wells: New Generation of Urban Parents Want Multicultural Communities and Diverse Schools reports that a study published last year by UCLA researchers spotlighted the state of New York’s schools as the most segregated in the nation, largely due to race and class separation within New York City’s public schools. TC's Amy Stuart Wells notes a significant migration of whites and wealthy Americans back into urban areas, undoing the effects of suburbanization and white flight that reshaped cities like New York over the course of the 20th century. Wells said this new generation of parents places a higher value on living in multicultural communities and sending their children to diverse schools than previous generations did, but as long as school choice has been in place in New York City, segregation has increased.

But, Wells says, "It's harder to do than just thinking it.”  A new influx of wealthy, white families can lead to gentrification and further segregation if policies aren’t in place to support the development of diverse schools.

A new policy by Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t do much beyond establish support for diverse schools in principle, but city officials are hoping that a flurry of new, community-driven efforts will come into play.

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Published Wednesday, Jul. 22, 2015