About this episode:

Even in 2019, we deal with issues that should no longer occur. Studies show New Jersey is the 6th most segregated state in the country for black students, 7th for Latinos. These inequities are brought to light last year by a coalition of civil rights groups filing a lawsuit against the state to challenge the state’s school system as unconstitutional and request sweeping action to end segregation. Is this intentional? Or a byproduct of some other inequality between races?

In Part 1 of our segregation series, PEP brings Shavar Jeffries and Kyle Rosenkrans together to talk about this controversial topic and what it means to NJ public schools. Being attorneys themselves, they shed light on the lawsuit while maintaining years of experience working in the same education field currently under scrutiny. Shavar with DFER, an education reform group, and Kyle with NJ Children’s Foundation and previously KIPP Charter Schools. How can we solve this pressing issue? Let’s see what they have to say. 

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Shavar Jeffries
Shavar Jeffries serves as President of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER). Jeffries began this role in September 2015, and brings a personal commitment to ensuring that a child’s zip code does not define their destiny. From his efforts fighting for fair funding practices to get schools the resources they deserved to his service leading the New Jersey Attorney General’s Juvenile Justice and Civil Rights Departments, he has been a vocal advocate for social justice. Shavar’s commitment to improve education stems directly from his personal experience. Jeffries was raised by his grandmother in the South Ward of Newark, New Jersey. His grandmother, a public school teacher, instilled in him a deep respect for the value of education.
Kyle Rosenkrans
Our founder and CEO is Kyle Rosenkrans. Kyle is a first-generation college graduate from New Jersey who went on to become a civil rights attorney, law professor, and public policy advocate. Kyle’s career has covered a variety of social justice causes: K-12 education reform, low-income housing preservation, LGBT rights, prisoner reentry, and tenants’ rights. Prior to his work at KIPP, Kyle spent five years as lead education attorney at Essex-Newark Legal Services, a visiting law professor at Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Social Justice in Newark, and most recently served as the CEO of the charter school association in New York and Connecticut. Kyle is an avid Knicks, Mets, and Giants fan, and lives in Newark with his four-year-old son, Leo.