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Celebrating 75 Years of LDF
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund today filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights about New York City's specialized high schools' admissions process. The complaint alleges that reliance on an unproven test as the sole determinant for admissions leads to disproportionately low numbers of African-American and Latino students at the schools and violates the civil rights of many minority students who are not admitted.
The Specialized High School Admissions Test, or SHSAT, is taken by approximately 30,000 students hoping to gain admission to eight elite high schools in New York City, including the Bronx High School of Science and Stuyvesant High School—but, the complaint claims, the test has never been proven to reliably predict the "knowledge, skills, and abilities essential to satisfactory participation in the programs offered by the specialized high schools." The claim also questions the validity of depending on any single factor to determine admissions to the schools.