Equity means meeting every student where they are, and providing the support, resources, and high expectations for them to achieve at consistently high levels. To this end, NYC DOE agrees we must start early, support excellent teachers and a strong curriculum in every school, and meet communities where they are. In doing this, we strive toward our Equity and Excellence 2026 goals of: (1) 80 percent of our students will graduate from high school on time and (2) two-thirds of our graduates will be college ready.

While NYC DOE has made significant and increasing improvements in educational outcomes over recent years — including higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates, and decreased rates of chronic absenteeism — there remain different graduation rates for students of different racial identities. We also observe significant disproportionalities with respect to suspensions, particularly among White students, Black students, and Hispanic students. Across all general indicators, it is clear that the NYC DOE must seek to employ innovative and intentional strategies to address historically under-investment, disproportionality, and opportunity gaps. Although our system has made great strides in increasing access to better public schools for many more students and families, and expanding the emphasis and role of school-in-community, we know that many of our schools and school communities still face challenges.

In the 2016-2017 budget, New York State made a $20 million investment in support of the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. The New York State My Brother’s Keeper Community Network includes more than 23 Recognized NYSMBK Communities – Albany, Brentwood, Bronx, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Dunkirk, East Ramapo, Greenburgh, Hudson, Ithaca, Lyons, Manhattan, Mt. Vernon, Newburgh Enlarged, New Rochelle, Ossining, Poughkeepsie, Queens, Rochester, Staten Island, Syracuse, White Plains, Yonkers.