For the third consecutive year, there was a decline in admission among Black and Latino students to NYC’s top high schools. An admissions report released Thursday (April 29), showed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the struggle for equity in the nation’s largest school system.
One school, Stuyvesant High School in Brooklyn, only offered eight Black students spots into its incoming freshman class of 749 students. The dwindling numbers of Black and Latino students, for some, prove why the required admission exams to these top high schools should be eliminated.
Out of the more than 23,000 students who took the admissions exam earlier this year, only 4,262 students overall were admitted. Among those admitted, only nine percent were Black or Latino students. Last year, Black and Latino students made up 11 percent of admitted students to specialized high schools.
Efforts to get the admissions test eliminated have failed at the city and state level, as some fight to keep the test in place, citing potential bias for Asian American students who made up over half of the newly admitted class.
The number of Black students sitting for the admissions exam isn’t the source of the admissions inequity. The Times reported that even though Black and white students make up roughly the same percentage of admission test takers –– around 18 percent each–– white students were still admitted at greater rates than Black students.
“I know from my 21 years as an educator that far more students could thrive in our Specialized High Schools, if only given the chance,” newly-appointed NYC School Chancellor Meisha Porter said in a statement. “Instead, the continued use of the Specialized High School Admissions Test will produce the same unacceptable results over and over again, and it’s far past the time for our students to be fairly represented in these schools,” Porter added.
“The State law that requires the City to administer the exam must be repealed so we can partner with our communities to find a more equitable way forward, and do right by all of our children.”
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