Posted on March 14, 2014

Black & Hispanic Pass Rates Drop in Elite High School Exams

Aaron Short, New York Post, March 12, 2014

More black and Hispanic students took the entrance exam to get into the city’s elite high schools this year, but their pass rates were as dismal as ever, officials said Tuesday.

Of the 5,096 students accepted by eight specialized schools, just 5  percent were black and 7 percent were Hispanic.

Nationally recognized Staten Island Tech won’t have a single black student among its incoming class of 344 freshmen. Last year, it had five.

Bronx Science, consistently ranked one of the highest-achieving high schools in the city, sent admission letters to 968 middle-school students, but only 18 were black.

The story was much the same at Stuyvesant, where seven black students and 21 Hispanics were among the 952 who made the cut.

Even Brooklyn Tech, which Mayor de Blasio’s son, Dante, attends, will welcome just 127 black students and 130 Hispanics among 1,844 in its freshman class of ’14.

De Blasio has called for an overhaul of the admissions system, saying one exam shouldn’t be the sole criteria for selecting the most qualified students.


“These schools are the jewels and the crown for our public-school system,” the mayor said. “They produce extraordinary leaders who will be part of the leadership of the city going forward.”


Of 27,817 students who took the entrance test last October, 46 percent were black or Hispanic. That’s up from 43 percent in 2012.


“It’s not good for the city,” said David Jones, CEO of the Community Service Society of New York. “We have to come up with an admission system that is wider than this one-size-fits-all exam.”

Jones suggested that elite high schools consider grade-point averages and teacher recommendations along with admissions exams.


Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said the administration will make changes.

“We must do more to reflect the diversity of our city in our top-tier schools — and we are committed to doing just that,” she said.