Remember when former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed changes to the admissions process to New York City’s specialized high schools, which include Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech? Those changes, which included eliminating the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, aimed to increase diversity at the city’s most prestigious high schools and, like many of the former mayor’s ideas, they didn’t go over so well. Well, now that New York City has installed a new mayor, we thought we’d check in to see what’s happening at the city’s specialized high schools. Are applications to these schools up? Is diversity up?
As Christina Veiga reports for Chalkbeat New York in a piece entitled “NYC’s specialized high schools continue to admit few Black, Latino students, 2022 data shows,” “The low number of Black and Latino students admitted to New York City’s prestigious specialized high schools hasn’t budged, with those students making up just under 9% of offers for next year’s class, according to education department data released Wednesday. That’s about the same as the previous year. The specialized high schools are widely considered the Ivy League of public schools in New York City. But they have long been starkly unrepresentative, with Black and Latino students making up only about 10% of enrollment, compared to about 66% of public school enrollment citywide. The education department also released data that shows the number of applications to all city high schools is down significantly, amid declining enrollment during the pandemic. About 74,000 students applied to public high schools in New York City, down from almost 78,000 the previous year.”
So, no, applications are not up to New York City’s specialized high schools and diversity hasn’t budged either. It also seems unlikely that these schools, which boast many Asian American students, will admit more Black and Latino students in the near future. After all, changing the admissions policies to these specialized New York City schools would face major headwinds. As our readers may remember, just a few months back, in a major victory for Asian American families whose children sought to attend the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in northern Virginia, a federal judge put the kibosh on changes to the school’s admissions process that adversely impacted the representation of Asian American young people at the magnet school. Do our readers see the through-line here?
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