Discovery or Dilution?

The Story

Admission to New York City’s specialized high schools is widely considered a ticket to an excellent education and the opportunity to attend a selective college. State law ties admission to high scores on a standardized test, with some limited entrance granted—through the Discovery program—to low-income students who almost passed the test. Mayor de Blasio wants to expand the Discovery program and change its requirements in order to boost admissions of black and Latino students. Now a group of Asian parents is planning to sue the city for what they contend is a concerted effort to exclude qualified Asian applicants. The mayor should worry less about racial bean-counting and more about improving the school system for all children.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Nonwhite: Mayor de Blasio wants to change the specialized high schools’ admission process, which he decries as racist, even though the majority of the student body in the schools is already nonwhite—and poor. Read more.

  2. Focus: Schools chancellor Richard Carranza has made it clear that his primary goal is to end “segregation” in city schools. Read more.

  3. Crimson: The parents’ proposed lawsuit resembles a case against Harvard, which has been accused of rigging its admissions process to exclude otherwise-qualified Asian students. Read more.

“We’re not about improving the system. We’re about changing the system.”

Richard Carranza, New York City schools chancellor

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Why Koreans Succeed By Heather Mac Donald (Spring 1995, The Social Order)

“Does the American Dream still exist? These New York immigrants say yes. To achieve it, they found, takes the familiar American virtues.”

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