First-Rate New York High Schools

The Story

Mayor de Blasio’s proposal to overhaul the admissions process for the city’s specialized high schools has concerned many who worry that the change would erode the schools’ quality. But the debate misses a larger point: New York City already has excellent high schools that admit students without consideration of the controversial specialized high school test. Instead of obsessing over the racial composition of eight high schools, New Yorkers should take a broader perspective on the city’s secondary-education environment.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Math: Enacting the mayor’s plan will mean that 10% of students in the specialized high schools will be non-proficient in math. Read more.

  2. Smarts: Research suggests that the specialized high schools’ excellent performance is largely a function of the abilities and prior achievement of their students. Read more.

  3. Best: Improving the worst-performing city schools would have a much greater impact on more kids—mostly black and Hispanic—than changing standards at the elite schools. Read more.

“If more and better educational opportunities for black and Hispanic students are the ultimate goal of the mayor’s plan, his focus on the top eight schools may be nearsighted. They are not the only game in town.”

Ray Domanico, Manhattan Institute director, education policy

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Making Merit Subjective By Dennis Saffran (October 7, 2014)

“The de Blasio administration floats a proposal to water down the admissions test to the city’s specialized high schools.”

And in other news...

“The Board of Elections reversed its decision and removed online access to its voter registration books after many raised privacy concerns.”