The South Asian Times

21 May 2019 16:38 PM

De Blasio plan to improve diversity at elite high schools

New York: Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza joined parents, educators, advocates, students and community leaders and announced a new plan to make admissions to New York City’s eight testing Specialized High Schools fairer and improve diversity. Only 10 percent of specialized high school students are Black or Latino, despite making up 70 percent of the City’s overall student population.  

The two-part plan includes: Expanding Discovery program to increase enrollment of low-income students at Specialized High Schools. The program will be expanded to 20 percent of seats at each SHS and adjust the eligibility criteria to target students attending high-poverty schools over two years beginning Sept 2019.

The plan will eliminate the use of the single-admissions test over three years. It would require State legislation. When the law is passed, the test would be phased out over a three-year period. Based on modeling of current offer patterns, 45 percent of offers would go to black and Latino students, compared to 9 percent currently.

There are talented students all across the five boroughs, but for far too long our specialized high schools have failed to reflect the diversity of our city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We cannot let this injustice continue. By giving a wider, more diverse pool of our best students an equal shot at admissions, we will make these schools stronger and our City fairer.”

“As a lifelong educator, a man of color, and a parent of children of color, I’m proud to work with our Mayor to foster true equity and excellence at our specialized high schools,” said Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.

The eight SHS that base their admissions solely on SHSAT scores are: The Bronx High School of Science; The Brooklyn Latin School; Brooklyn Technical High School; High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at the City College of New York; High School of American Studies at Lehman College; Queens High School for the Sciences at York College; Staten Island Technical High School; and Stuyvesant High School. A ninth SHS, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, does not use the SHSAT and will not be impacted by these changes.

Update: 07 June, 2018