NYC Calls on Albany to Expand Access to Specialized Schools
The New York City Council introduced a resolution today that asks the state to replace the law which now mandates a single-test admissions policy for the city's 8 specialized high schools.
Advocates say the state's policy to use a single multiple choice test as the sole measure for granting admission to the city's specialized high schools cuts off opportunities for thousands of students, particularly minorities.
Rachel Klein with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund says of the 952 eighth graders who received offers to attend Manhattan's Stuyvesant High School this year, only 7 are black and 21 are Hispanic. She says its not necessarily because minority students are less academically prepared.
"A large number of the students who actually do well on the test are people who can afford test prep programs," she said. "So it's not even a question, in many cases, of not being prepared by their middle schools or their elementary schools; but instead of extra preparation, often quite expensive, and certainly always very time consuming."
Klein says other measures of merit like grades and state test scores should be included in the admissions process. She says its ultimately up to Albany to eliminate the single test for at least 3 of New York City's specialized schools. But Klein says a loophole could allow the City to do something about the other 5 without waiting on the state.