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City Council Members Aim to Increase Diversity in Schools With New Bills

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City Council members on Wednesday announced a series of bills they hope will increase diversity in city public schools.

City Councilman Brad Lander of Brooklyn said the city has the most segregated school system in the country.

One proposed bill would require the Department of Education to explicitly work toward diversity. Another would have it collect and publish data on the effort. A final bill would force the city's elite high schools to broaden their admissions criteria, instead of relying on a single test.

"Studies show that one test is not a predictor of all that a student can achieve and do," said City Councilwoman Inez Barron of Brooklyn.

"The fact that the Department of Education is officially neutral in its stance toward segregated schools means that we have forgotten the moral logic and legacy of Brown v. Board of Education," said City Councilman Ritchie Torres of the Bronx.

In response, the Department of Education said, "We are proud of the diversity of our city and our students and recognize the critical value that a diverse student body brings to our schools. We are exploring additional ways to reflect this diversity in every zip code, and look forward to reviewing the package of legislation."

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