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Rich Parents In New York City Are Mad Their Schools Are Trying To Desegregate (HBO)

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Though New York prides itself on being an open-minded and diverse city, it has one of the most racially segregated public school system in the nation. And at a time when schools from Arizona to Tennessee and New Jersey are all debating ways to better integrate students, New York’s continued inequities stand out. The city’s elite public schools are overrepresented by wealthier, white and Asian children despite the fact that 67 percent of the public school population are black and latino. This summer, there's momentum behind a range of proposals to address segregation by changing admissions policies at the middle school and high school levels. Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, and other educational leaders say the goal is to uphold their mission and to create opportunity for students who have long been shut out. But not everyone is enthusiastic about change. In one district, a grassroots​ plan to reserve 25 percent of seats in every middle school for struggling students has angered the parents of high-performing, well-resourced children. VICE News met with Kim Watkins, the chair of the Community Education Council for ​District 3​, which is comprised of sixteen middle schools spread across the more affluent parts of the Upper West Side and black, brown, and poorer sections of southern Harlem. In the district's best schools, fewer than 10 percent of students are from low-income families. At its worst schools, almost 100 percent of the students are poor and of color. For some New Yorkers embracing initiatives for diversity and equal opportunity is easy to do in theory, harder to do in practice. Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network: