A recent Gothamist blog post discusses the quest for diversity in elite NYC private schools. An interesting factoid–one elite private school has boosted their diversity numbers (6% to 47% students of color) while the number of financial aid students has remained the same. And they report that that kind of diversity shift (without a corresponding financial aid shift) is not uncommon in the city. So apparently in New York, diversity IS only skin deep and does not extend to the relative wealth of the families applying. We like kids of color, as long as their parents have money….
I have no evidence or inkling that anything similar is happening in Philadelphia. As far as I am aware, no local private schools have boasted such astounding diversity shifts as the NYC schools cited in the blog post. And of course the private school admissions process isn’t nearly as cutthroat here as it is there. Still, I have lamented over and over in the past about the lack of diversity in many schools that I have visited. Maybe I have been guilty of just scanning kids faces or reading published ethnicity statistics. Maybe some of those schools had socioeconomic diversity, who knows? Imagine schools posting income ranges of families the way they post ethnicity numbers today. I know it’ll never happen, but one can dream, right? It will be interesting to see whether NYC’s trend takes hold in our city or not.