Elite Schools Make Few Offers to Black and Latino Students

Kate Taylormarch, New York Times, March 7, 2018

When running for mayor in 2013, Bill de Blasio said the city’s elite high schools had to “reflect the city better.” But according to data released by the education department on Wednesday, black and Latino students made up only 10 percent of those offered spots for next fall at the eight high schools that administer the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, a percentage that has been essentially unchanged for years.

{snip} The schools have long been criticized for not being representative of the overall population of the city’s school system, which is 67 percent black and Latino.


Despite these efforts, the percentage of students admitted to the specialized schools who are black or Hispanic is actually down slightly from before Mr. de Blasio was elected. In 2013, 12 percent of students who received offers were black or Latino.

At Stuyvesant, the most competitive of the schools, only 10 black students and 27 Latino students received offers this year; last year, the comparable numbers were 13 and 28.

Matt Gonzales, the director of the School Diversity Project at New York Appleseed, an organization that advocates for school integration, and a member of a group that is advising the city on how to integrate schools, said that {snip} if the city wanted to maintain the schools, there were ways to make them more reflective of the city’s population — such as instituting a system in which the top students at every middle school were offered admission.


Douglas Cohen, a spokesman for the education department, said in an email that, “We’ve seen encouraging results from several of our specialized high school diversity initiatives, and know there’s a lot more work ahead of us.”

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