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Proposal to change admissions process for NYC specialized public high schools




Stuyvesant High School, one of the locations where the Tribeca Film Festival will be held April 18, 2005 in New York City.
Stuyvesant High School, one of the locations where the Tribeca Film Festival will be held April 18, 2005 in New York City.
Peter Kramer/Getty Images

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A plan to diversify New York City’s most elite public high schools is drawing fire from the minority group that has come to dominate the schools in recent years: Asian-Americans.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last weekend that he wants to scrap the test that governs admission to eight specialized high schools including Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science, calling the test “a roadblock to justice, progress and academic excellence.” Fewer than 10 percent of students who score well enough to gain admission to the schools are black or Latino, despite the fact that those two groups make up two-thirds of the city’s 1 million public school students. “It’s not fair. It’s not inclusive. It’s not open to all,” de Blasio said.

But such a change might mean fewer seats for Asian-American students, who now make up 62 percent of the pupils. “This policy causes chaos in the Asian-American community and we’re here to reject this policy,” John Chan, head of the Coalition of Asian-Americans for Civil Rights, said. Opponents of the proposed change accused the mayor of pitting minority groups against each other.

With files from the Associated Press.

Guests:

David Kirkland, associate professor of English and urban education and executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools at New York University

Diane Schachterle, vice president of the American Civil Rights Institute, a national civil rights organization that aims to advocate for non-discrimination by opposing racial and gender preferences, founded by former UC Regent Ward Connerly