New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Desegregate Online Education

Desegregate Online Education Kallos Cornegy

With three-quarters of students learning remotely, the former Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus Co-Chair and I authored a letter demanding a desegregation of online learning, initially covered and then endorsed by the New York Post as an opportunity to “make remote learning into a winner for many kids.” 

We proposed the creation of a new desegregated citywide school district to serve every student enrolled in all remote learning. The virtual schools within this new district would be organized around learning style, enrichment, and even common interest. Initial online diagnostics or results from remote learning earlier this year would help identify how students learned, so we can best match them with teachers and virtual classrooms filled with diverse groups of students who learned the same way. Enrichment programs like gifted and talented programs or those tailored to specific interests and remote learning styles could finally be offered to every student who qualified, with additional classrooms opened for students who may not have qualified or even known to take the test but who deserve the access and opportunity nonetheless. With the availability of real-time diagnostics and analytics for students as they complete assignments online, teachers and administrators would be able to provide support and guidance for any student who might have fallen behind in the traditional education system, which has over relied on high stakes testing and grades. 

Imagine the public education system we can create together, with the ambitious goal of taking on systemic racism and segregation, all while providing a historic opportunity for students of every race and ethnicity. There would be no more lotteries. No more geographic preference based on racist red lining. No more false constraints created by generations of disinvestment in communities of color. Parents and students could simply apply and be guaranteed a seat in the virtual classroom of their choice. Equal educational opportunities for all.