Parents Defending Education filed a motion to intervene in a case that was recently filed in the New York Supreme Court. The initial lawsuit asserts that the city’s public education system has replicated and worsened racial inequality by sorting children into different academic tracks as early as kindergarten, therefore denying many of its roughly one million students of their right to a sound, basic education; the New York Times recently noted that this lawsuit “seeks to establish the right to an antiracist education.”
Parents Defending Education has asked the court’s permission to intervene in the lawsuit on the side of the defendants, in order to bring a perspective to this case that the court would not otherwise hear – that of families who have children in the NYC education system and would be impacted by the Plaintiffs’ proposed relief. PDE’s members, who are parents of children in the system, believe that their children should be judged based on their individual merit, not defined as members of a racial group or blamed for the collective sins of others – which is why PDE opposes the call to inject more race-based decision-making into the City’s schools. The best way to achieve equality is to treat children equally, regardless of skin color, and to fix the parts of the City’s schools that are broken – not by focusing on race and breaking the parts of the City’s schools that are working. And perhaps most importantly, the relief sought by the plaintiffs is a violation of both state and federal Equal Protection Clauses – and we hope to remind the court of this point.