NYC Chancellor David Banks shares integration views on ‘Faculty Colours’ — science weblog

To make the second season of Faculty Colours — the critically acclaimed podcast inspecting race, class, and energy in New York Metropolis colleges — creators Max Freedman and Mark Winston Griffith spoke with greater than 120 dad and mom, educators and coverage consultants a few contentious effort to diversify colleges in a single nook of Queens.

One individual they didn’t get to speak to was colleges Chancellor David Banks.

That modified on a wet Thursday night time in December, when Freedman and Winston Griffith sat down with Banks as a part of a particular occasion on the Queens Public Library in Jamaica, co-sponsored by Chalkbeat and THE CITY. They requested him about his imaginative and prescient for supporting faculty variety in one of many nation’s most segregated public faculty techniques.

A large-ranging dialog adopted, referring to the definition of variety in a multiracial and multiethnic faculty system, the steadiness between enhancing native colleges versus shifting college students to colleges farther away, and methods to incorporate the views of oldsters when their opinions and platforms fluctuate so broadly.

The town’s hopes to create a variety plan for District 28 center colleges fizzled throughout the pandemic, when the general public well being disaster took heart stage. However the method confronted an uphill battle regardless, because the podcast confirmed, with a few of the deeply embedded hurdles in a district separated by a “Mason-Dixon Line,” with Forest Hills on one finish and Jamaica on the different. 

Banks mentioned he supported districts that wished to create integration plans, however citywide he most popular to develop “glorious colleges” in neighborhoods the place children already dwell. 

And for now, after one yr in workplace, he has different priorities.

“Your entire system that we’re in search of to combine is essentially flawed,” Banks mentioned. “Whether or not you get an opportunity to take a seat subsequent to Latino children, White children, Black children, Asian children — that’s truly much less of a precedence to me than what’s a high quality faculty expertise within the first place?”

Banks additionally shared a few of his personal experiences as a pupil rising up in Southeast Queens and getting bused out of his neighborhood to a higher-performing faculty.

That dialogue is now a bonus episode of Faculty Colours that you could find right here.

After the interview with Banks wrapped up, Chalkbeat reporter Reema Amin spoke with Freedman and Winston Griffith about their reflections on the chancellor’s remarks, and the way they put collectively the second season of Faculty Colours. 

Winston Griffith identified that how one frames the aim of integration usually shapes the end result of the dialog. “If you happen to speak about what it means to be a worldwide citizen and what it’s going to take for everybody to have entry to the identical sort of high quality training, there will not be many roads that don’t lead by integration in some kind or style,” he mentioned.

Reflecting on Banks’s views, Winston Griffith added, “I feel what you heard is a fatigue that’s generations-long of getting this dialog, and integration being lifted as the reply and the answer, and having to, what it looks like, is form of beg white individuals to take a seat subsequent to them.”

That dialog can be a bonus episode that you could find right here.

The panelists agreed that the astute and numerous questions and feedback from viewers members — together with recommendations about together with extra pupil voices —had been a spotlight of the night.

“Us speaking to ourselves doesn’t do something,” mentioned Winston Griffith. “The very fact you’re listening and also you took the day trip on a wet day to be right here and take part on this, it means a lot to us.”

Michael Elsen-Rooney is a reporter for Chalkbeat New York, overlaying NYC public colleges. Contact Michael at

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