NAACP: Blacks and Latinos Barred From City's Best High Schools

The civil rights group alleges that the city's best high schools have barely any minority representation, and believe the admissions test may be to blame.

New York City is barring black and Latino students from attending its best high schools, alleges a blistering complaint by the NAACP to the U.S. Department of Education, according to the New York Daily News.

The NAACP says that minority students are not represented at eight of the city’s “best public schools,” including Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, where only 1% of students are black, says the paper. Other schools that face a dearth of minority students are Brooklyn Technical High School and the Bronx High School of Science.

“Black and Latino students don’t see opportunity at places like Stuyvesant because of the admissions process,” said NAACP attorney Rachel Kleinman. “It’s not fair and it’s bad policy.”

According to the Daily News, the only method for judging students abilities is the city’s Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, and the NAACP believes the test is biased against black and Latino students.

Nearly 31 percent of white students and 35 percent of Asian students who score well on the test are welcome into the city’s elite schools, compared with only 5 percent of black students and 6.7 percent of Latinos.

According to the paper, 7 percent of students in specialized high schools are black, while black students make up 28 percent of the city’s overall enrollment in schools.

The U.S. Department of Education will review the complaint and, if discrimination is found, has promised a change in policy, though new state legislation may be required.

bedstuy123 September 28, 2012 at 03:22 PM
"Schools" are defined by the teachers and administrators who occupy the building and yes they are failing our kids. Charter schools are no better, believe me, I have my child in one and have to supplement her education at every turn. The problem in general is that the curriculum taught is not aggressive, is dumbed down and flat lined. The teachers teach to the mean rather than push to a higher standard for fear of losing too many kids. Of course parents have a huge part to play, but unless we choose to home school our kids, we have entered into a contract with the school system to provide the best education possible for our children. I think the NAACP lawsuit serves only one purpose, to wake people up to the situation. I don't think the solution, however, is to change the standard of admission to the elite schools. I believe that we need to level the playing field. If the schools (charter and public alike) refuse or can't provide the level of education needed then parents and communities need to band together to provide alternative learning centers for our kids. We can create our own tutoring or learning centers that are affordable and available in our neighborhoods. The NAACP can facilitate these efforts. We have had very successful efforts to provide avenues for our children who have learning disabilities. I am glad that we are at least having a conversation about aiding our children whose intellectual gifts are not being supported.
Christina September 28, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Thank you Bedstuy123 for bringing up the curriculum and how it's being dumbed down. When the lesson plan has to be stopped to prep the kids for the upcoming State Test that's a problem for me. It was my feeling that the Curriculum should align with the test. I have a son in 10th grade and I am already working with him on the upcoming regents exams.
BK Boo October 08, 2012 at 08:41 PM
NOTE: The article does not say that African American and Latino students scored lower. The article is about bias as represented in ALL students who did WELL on the test and the percentage who were then ACCEPTED. 31 white and and 35% Asian accepted vs 5% and 6.7% acceptance rate of African American and Latino who scored WELL.
Jake October 09, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Thank you BK Boo for this more accurate understanding of the article.
BRADY October 09, 2012 at 04:32 AM
So BK Boo what you are saying is that Asians are keeping out most of the other races since your stats state they are the most accepted in these schools


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