Seven NYC Students Didn’t Get Seats in Elite Schools, So They Asked State for Help

Another attack on NYC’s specialized high school diversity efforts. This is representing attorney Claude M. Millman’s ( Bronx Science ’81 Alumni ) second legal action against the SHSAT reform that I know of.

Previously he represented a coalition of anti-reform protesters in another SHSAT related matter in 2014.

Referring to 2014 Legal Action

I believe but haven’t confirmed that this filing was done through the state education department’s appeals process: Appeals or Petitions to Commissioner of Education. Maybe SHSAT reform supporters should have been filing petitions all along?

From the WSJ article…

The petitioners’ unusual move comes at a time of intense debate over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s effort to overhaul the admissions system. While lobbying legislators to change the state law, he vastly expanded the Discovery program for the coming school year, in hopes that doing so would better integrate schools that are predominantly Asian.

“The absurdity of the implementation of the mayor’s Discovery program is that it is supposed to be directed towards getting African-American and Hispanic kids into these specialized high schools, and it is so arbitrarily drawn that even those kids are adversely affected,” the students’ lawyer, Claude Millman, said Friday.

The petitions say the city ignored language in the 1971 law requiring that Discovery operate “without in any manner interfering with the academic level” of these eight schools. The petitions include signed statements from three former principals of Stuyvesant High School and Bronx High School of Science, saying the current version of Discovery admits many students whose test scores are too low for them to keep up.

It will be interesting to see how Mr. Millman plans to establish that letting students in who scored a few multiple-choice questions lower on a single test “interferes with the academic level” of the schools.

In the past students accepted via the discovery program scored identically to students who aced the SHSAT and scored up to 300 points higher…

Stuyvesant’s current principal, Eric Contreras, didn’t comment on the petitions but expressed confidence in the Discovery program. “Current ninth-graders who participated in Discovery last summer are doing well and participating fully in the Stuyvesant experience,” he said by email. “I have no doubt that the students who complete the program this coming summer will also be successful here.”

WSJ article