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Data & Research

The Problem

A Middle School Crisis

Most people would agree that attending a great college is the direct result of going to an exceptional high school. Like most educators, however, we believe that the path to college begins much earlier, and that middle school is the critical time to set up habits and mindsets of success that will serve students in their academic careers. Yet in the United States, there is less focus on and fewer resources put into middle schools, and for many students who don’t receive an adequate primary education, it’s too late to turn things around when they start high school.

In Brooklyn's District 13 and 15, there are:

- 59 elementary schools with an average of 4,095 available seats per grade

- 26 middle schools with an average of only 2,257 available seats per grade

The result? The number of middle school options in Brooklyn are disproportionate to the number of available seats.

Why This Matters

A student's 8th grade GPA is the number one indicator of college admission.


8 out of 10 8th grade students lack the knowledge and skills necessary to enter and succeed in high school and beyond.

A Segregated School System

Brooklyn is one of the most segregated cities in our country, despite being one of the most diverse urban areas in the United States. This directly mirrors the national divide in our country that is leading to fear and intolerance; a fear and intolerance that, we believe, cannot grow in a community that respects, celebrates, and most importantly, nurtures what makes us unique.

Brooklyn’s public school system has the potential to be a model of diversity.  The over 300 thousand children who attend school in Brooklyn represent the beauty and difference of cultures in our society.

Why This Matters

Integrated schools help reduce racial achievement gaps.
Attending a diverse school can help reduce racial bias and counter stereotypes.
Students in integrated schools are more likely to enroll in college.
Students in integrated schools have higher average test scores.

SOURCE: The Century Foundation


The following resources give a thorough explanation around the necessity of prioritizing integration in our school systems:

School Segregation: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

The Problem We All Live With: This American Life

New York State's Extreme School Segregation: Civil Rights Project

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