Glenn Blain, New York Daily News, June 7, 2018
Mayor de Blasio’s plan to desegregate New York City’s specialized high schools will have to wait until at least next year.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) said Thursday the Assembly wants to address the concerns raised by critics of the plan and will not take up legislation that does away with the admission test for the specialized high schools before the Legislature’s annual session ends later this month.
Heastie said he made the decision to hold off on the legislation after discussing the matter with various minority legislators, including Assembly members Ron Kim (D-Queens) and Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan).
Kim and Niou have complained that the mayor’s plan was introduced without any input from the Asian-American community and would unfairly punish Asian-American students who now account for a large percentage of the specialized high schools’ population.
Heastie’s decision comes a day after the Assembly’s Education Committee approved a bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn), that would phase out the admission test over three years and replace it with a system based on grade point averages, local test scores and other factors.
Even before Heastie’s decision, the bill faced long odds of winning approval this year. Senate Education Committee Chairman Carl Marcellino (R-Nassau County) told the Daily News Wednesday that he opposes efforts to do away with the admission test.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who had supported de Blasio’s plan, said he was “not backing away” from the plan but saw the merit in taking more time.
Heastie also cast doubt on a suggestion made by Gov. Cuomo this week that the issue of school diversity be discussed next year as part of the negotiations to renew mayoral control of city schools, which expires in the spring of 2019.