De Blasio’s Plan for NYC Schools Isn’t Anti-Asian. It’s Anti-Racist.

The mayor’s plan isn’t anti-Asian, it’s anti-racist. It would give working-class parents — including Asian-Americans — who can’t afford and shouldn’t have to find ways to afford expensive test prep programs a fairer chance that their child will be admitted into what’s known as a specialized high school. True, taking a test prep course doesn’t guarantee admission to such a school, but it does offer clear benefits and is widely understood to be essential to test-takers.

Nor is the plan a form of affirmative action.

NYC chapter of Sharpton’s group looks to scrap elite schools test, in break with longtime ally

“The National Action Network, as a Civil Rights organization, cannot allow nor support ‘elitism,'” the remarks state. “As for the opposition’s position for ‘keeping the test as is and fix all middle schools,’ NAN asks why hasn’t this been done before??! And doing so would take too long. Eliminate the test and fix all the middle schools in the process.”

https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2019/05/09/new-york-chapter-of-sharptons-national-action-network-wants-elite-school-test-scrapped-1012807

Testimony regarding segregation in New York City public schools

UFT opposes single measure admissions
The union is on record criticizing and challenging the validity of a single test as the sole criteria for high stakes decisions – such as entrance to early elementary gifted and talented programs or specialized high schools. The proponents of these standardized tests for entrance to competitive screened schools allege the tests are a reliable, objective measure that reinforce the schools’ success and set the standard for academic achievement; ultimately, it’s not broke, so no need to fix it.

New York’s Best Schools Need to Do Better

Another NYTimes editorial opinion.

Many Asian-American New Yorkers have objected to eliminating the exam, arguing that the mayor’s plan would deny admission to hard-working and high-achieving children in their communities. Many alumni at Stuyvesant and other specialized high schools have argued that dropping the test would lead to the admission of students who could not handle the rigorous curriculum. But where’s the evidence?


An admissions policy that is demonstrably unfair shouldn’t be allowed to continue simply because it has worked for certain groups.

I’m an Asian American graduate of Brooklyn Tech. Please don’t use me as a wedge in your education lawsuit

The lawsuit, brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation ostensibly to contest alleged discrimination against Asian American students, targets changes to the city’s expanding Discovery Program. It allows students attending low-income middle schools to receive an offer to one of the city’s elite high schools if they score just below the admissions cut-off on the Specialized High School Admissions Test.

Fortunately, a district judge ruled Feb. 25 that the preliminary injunction the plaintiffs sought to halt the plan was not warranted. But the Pacific Legal Foundation appears prepared to take its case all the way to the U.S.

How private tutoring makes an unequal education system even less fair

Studies show that almost every student can improve their grades with private tutoring. But when only the rich can afford it — in New York the average cost of private tutoring is $64 an hour, though rates can easily approach and even exceed $100 — it’s no surprise their children are overrepresented in elite high schools and colleges, at the expense of everyone else.


In fact, in New York there is a dedicated tutoring industry just for the Specialized High School Admissions Test, the now-infamous admissions test that is the sole criteria for admission to elite — and wildly racially imbalanced — high schools like Stuyvesant and Bronx Science.

Op-Ed: NYC High School Admissions Creates Winners And Losers. I Lost.

You would never guess that Victory Collegiate is located in one of the most diverse and wealthy cities in the world: my school was 90 percent black, 7 percent Hispanic, and had a few Arab and South Asian kids. Most of us qualified for free lunch.

One day, in my AP Biology class, a bullet flew into the classroom, lodging itself in the whiteboard, missing our heads by inches. The teacher was so traumatized that she never returned. But we, the students, were back in the same room two days later.

Demolish the meritocracy myth: No, the specialized high school exam is not a fair admissions screen; it’s discriminatory


And for others, paid school consultants, tutors and prep courses, some starting as early as kindergarten, give students with means, or those with parents in the know, a leg up. That includes poor Asian families who spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars prepping for the exam.


The same can be said for gifted and talented admissions, where disparities are equally abysmal. Or SAT and ACT results. There is an entire economy set up around test prep for a reason.

It’s the peer effect, stupid: What makes schools like Stuyvesant great? It’s not test-based admission, but a broader culture of excellence

We’ve conducted more than 70 interviews (and counting) with adult alumni of Stuyvesant High School who graduated between 1946 and 2013 for a book we’re working on called “The Peer Effect.” (We both graduated from Stuyvesant in the 1980s.) Many of the people we’ve interviewed grew up poor, and/or were black, Latino or Asian. Some of the graduates we interviewed from earlier years were from poor or working-class Jewish families. We also interviewed a lot of former students who were brought up in white, middle-class families.

CityViews: Equitable Admission to High Schools Must Start with Middle School

recent actions by the Trump administration strongly suggest that attempts to increase representation of African American and Latinx students at schools with competitive admissions processes could invite investigation from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. It is safer just to eliminate competitive processes wherever possible.

https://citylimits.org/2019/01/21/cityviews-equitable-admission-to-high-schools-must-start-with-middle-school/