How race and class warped a plan for two brooklyn schools
It’s no secret that New York City has one of the country’s most segregated school systems. So when a plan that would integrate two Brooklyn public schools was introduced in 2015 – one in a wealthy white neighborhood and the other serving a predominantly black community living in housing projects – it began a contentious debate on race and class in the borough. I wrote multiple stories on the issue over several months for DNAinfo New York as a Brooklyn reporter for the website. I attended meetings with city education officials, parents and school leaders as they hashed out their frustrations and concerns over the plan. My stories showed how parents of the mostly black school feared an influx of rich students would change the nature of their school and take away resources that were put in place for poorer students. I spoke to families on both sides who believed the city had failed to include them in the planning process. The story turned into a national conversation on segregation. I covered the dispute over the plan as it unfolded and was eventually approved, and, one year later, wrote a profile on one of the two schools to see whether the rezoning had changed the culture of the school. Below are six stories I wrote over the span of a year.