David R. Jones, President & CEO of the Community Service Society of New York (CSS), weighed in this week in on the continuing trend of racial disparities in New York City’s Specialized High Schools and Mayor Bloomberg’s insensitive response.
CSS is one of nearly a dozen organizations that signed on as complainants in LDF’s federal civil rights complaint challenging the New York City Department of Education’s discriminatory admissions policies for the Specialized High Schools. Last week the New York City Department of Education released the admissions results from the 2012 administration of SHSAT. According to Jones: “We challenged the city’s use of a single test that has never been validated as a predictor of academic success to determine admission to New York’s elite Specialized High Schools because this admissions process works to exclude black and Latino students. This filing was met with outright hostility by Mayor Bloomberg, who was quoted as saying in response to the case that, in effect, life isn’t fair (“Bloomberg To Minorities Rejected By Elite High Schools: Life’s Not Fair,” Gothamist.com, September 28, 2012)….Life continues not to be fair to blacks and Latinos under the mayor’s watch. Late Friday afternoon, long after newspapers had been printed, the city revealed that the schools problem hadn’t improved but, in fact, has become substantially worse. Of the 5,229 students accepted to the city’s eight Specialized High Schools this year, only 618 were black or Hispanic, a decline of nearly 16 percent in one year alone (“Fewer black and Hispanic students admitted to top high schools,”) Gothamschools.org, March 15, 2013). At this rate of decline, six years from now there will be no black and Hispanic students admitted at all.”
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