Both Brooklyn, NY, and Northwest D.C. are home to emotionally charged, racially tinged fights over neighborhood school boundaries. Urbanists beware: As the “great inversion” continues and our cities gentrify, this is a sign of things to come.
In Brooklyn, the fight is focused on two elementary schools in Park Slope. One of these, P.S. 321, is overcrowded, the result of a baby boom in its increasingly affluent community, as well as of a school-system policy that allows students to stay at the school even after their families move elsewhere in the city. To deal with the crowding, officials plan to shrink its attendance zone, which means redistricting some children into a new school to be opened a few blocks away.
That second school stirs anxieties among many middle-class parents because it will be more socioeconomically diverse. As Naomi Schaefer Riley opined in the New York Post,
Aren’t Park Slopers looking for diversity? Writing at Park Slope Patch last year, neighborhood resident Louise Crawford asked parents and leaders “What Matters to Park Slope.”...