Lawsuit challenging N.Y.C. school segregation targets gifted programs (subscription)

A major new lawsuit could force fundamental changes to how New York City’s public school students are admitted into selective schools, and marked the latest front in a growing political, activist and now legal movement to confront inequality in the nation’s largest school system.

Even if the suit, brought by civil rights attorneys and student plaintiffs in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, does not upend the city’s admissions system, it will likely prompt scrutiny of New York’s school system, considered among the most racially and socioeconomically segregated in the country.

The suit argues that the city’s school system has replicated and worsened racial inequality by sorting children into different academic tracks as early as kindergarten, and has therefore denied many of its roughly one million students of their right to a sound, basic education. Defendants include Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the incoming schools chancellor, Meisha Porter.

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