Special for a Reason

The Story

New York City’s specialized high schools make offers of admission to the kids who perform best on a standardized exam — the only criteria for getting in. Most years, the overwhelming majority of prospective students are Asian and white. Critics call the admissions process racially biased, but it’s hard to spin a test of math and reading comprehension as anything but meritocratic. Rather than changing admissions criteria for the city’s best schools, New York should improve its middle schools to offer black and Latino students the best chance at doing well on the test.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Selective: Though they make up 67% of the student body citywide, black and Latino students received only 10.4% of the admission offers from selective high schools this year. Read more.

  2. Bright: Asian-American civil rights groups have vigorously opposed efforts to change the admissions process to the top high schools. Read more.

  3. Homogeneous: The percentage of black, Latino, and white students at the specialized high schools has fallen dramatically in the last 25 years. Read more.

“Accepting people who don’t get the grade on the test and dumbing down the school for the sake of ‘diversity’ is stupid.”

Collin Slattery, Stuyvesant HS alumnus and 2017 NYC mayoral candidate

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

“New York City brags to the world about its excellences — its peerless business expertise, its world-class restaurants, its unparalleled sophistication, its renowned monuments — but about one rare treasure, a set of elite, overachieving public high schools, it remains largely silent.”

And in other news...

“Three whistleblowers representing New York City employees and retirees are suing the city’s top health insurance providers for defrauding taxpayers of more than a billion dollars.”