The Impact of the Proposed NYC Specialized School Admissions Plan on Boys

Gender at NYC Specialized Schools, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science
Is a gender shift in the cards at New York City’s specialized high schools? Photo credit: PointsofNoReturn.

As our readers may remember, we’ve previously reported on a proposed overhaul to the admissions plan at New York City’s specialized high schools, the most well known of which are Stuyvesant High School, the Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School. In short, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, perhaps NYC’s least popular chief executive in decades, proposed that admission to the eight specialized high schools be based on grades, classroom behavior, and the admission test results whereas now admission to these schools is based solely on the admission test results. And why? So as to increase the representation of African American and Latinx students at these schools, schools that are presently largely filled with Caucasian and Asian American students. But will this proposed overhaul to the admissions plan adversely impact boys more so than girls?

Gender Imbalance in NYC Specialized School Admissions

As reports Selim Algar for “The New York Post” in a piece entitled “Parents say city’s new admissions plans will hurt boys more than girls,” “The eight top schools currently base entry on a single admissions test, resulting in the student gender split of 54 percent male and 46 percent female, according to the Department of Education. Under the new plan, that ratio would shift sharply — to an estimated 62 percent female and 38 percent male, according to an Independent Budget Office projection. That’s because the plan calls for other factors to be considered for admissions at the schools, including grades and classroom behavior — and boys traditionally fall behind in those categories. ‘Boys who are never going to get perfect grades or be the teacher’s pet can do well on [the single admissions] test and access the kind of education that specialized high schools have offered for years. And that’s a good thing,’’ said Maud Maron, of Manhattan’s Community Education Council 2. She advocates against an admissions revision.”

A shift from 54% male, 46% female to 38% male, 62% female seems like an overcorrection to us, but, hey, Mayor de Blasio must know best. In any case, the proposed admissions overhaul at NYC’s specialized high schools would surely lead to lots of demographic shifts — based not only on gender but based on race as well.


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