Segregated Schools

My son is biracial. He is Black and White. Ahem, African-American and Caucasian. We live in New York City. The funniest or perhaps most tragic aspect of living in NYC is the vast disparity of wealth. We have some of the best apartments, and some of the most filthy, piss-smelling domiciles in the country. We have some of the best schools and some of the worst. You can pay through the nose for just about anything, but school tuition will make your head spin.

I’m smart. So is my husband. Our kid can crawl and has two teeth, so he is clearly a genius. Now we just need to find a school to help him excel. We really want an integrated school for our son. I do not want him in a Black school and have him uncomfortable around whites. I certainly don’t want him at a white school where he is a mascot or marginalized or feels the, “soft bigotry,” of lowered expectations. Which leaves us in a predicament in the city. Even more than finding a “good” school, finding one that is integrated is the straight, Black guy at a TFA conference. Where do we send our son? Tuition in $30,000+ for a diverse private school. Each year. Who can afford that? The public schools seem to be comprised of mostly one ethnicity. The charter schools have great auxiliary programs and some have good test scores, but it’s all black and brown kids. I love Black and Brown kids, but I want my son to be exposed to  lots of different ethnicities and colors.

How is that supposed to work, NYC? Only extra rich people can afford an integrated education? Everyone else can be in schools segregated like it’s 1950? I realize housing has a lot to do with districting, but at a certain point, start a school that is divere in terms or race and income and that people don’t have to sell a kidney to attend. Yes, there’s fiancial aid, but we’d still have to pay liek ten grand a year. In 13 years that is $130,000. And then college. Crap.


I attended a Teach for America conference this weekend. It was inspiring and and reinvigorating. I attended a session about segregation in schools and was left wanting. The consensus seemed to be that something needed to change, but no action we could take. No, wait. I could start my own integrated school. Lame. I want a good school that has a variety of children that I can afford. I don’t have time to start a school. Luckily, my kid’s only eight month old, so I have some time. What do other parents do?


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