NAACP: Blacks and Latinos Barred From City's Best High Schools

The civil rights group alleges that the city's best high schools have barely any minority representation, and believe the admissions test may be to blame.

New York City is barring black and Latino students from attending its best high schools, alleges a blistering complaint by the NAACP to the U.S. Department of Education, according to the New York Daily News.

The NAACP says that minority students are not represented at eight of the city’s “best public schools,” including Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, where only 1% of students are black, says the paper. Other schools that face a dearth of minority students are Brooklyn Technical High School and the Bronx High School of Science.

“Black and Latino students don’t see opportunity at places like Stuyvesant because of the admissions process,” said NAACP attorney Rachel Kleinman. “It’s not fair and it’s bad policy.”

According to the Daily News, the only method for judging students abilities is the city’s Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, and the NAACP believes the test is biased against black and Latino students.

Nearly 31 percent of white students and 35 percent of Asian students who score well on the test are welcome into the city’s elite schools, compared with only 5 percent of black students and 6.7 percent of Latinos.

According to the paper, 7 percent of students in specialized high schools are black, while black students make up 28 percent of the city’s overall enrollment in schools.

The U.S. Department of Education will review the complaint and, if discrimination is found, has promised a change in policy, though new state legislation may be required.

spqrxxi September 27, 2012 at 08:09 PM
The NAACP is not doing the people it represents a favor by arguing such an absurd case. The test is race blind, and if the fact that Asians so clearly dominate the groups of successful candidates highlights that it rewards hard work, study, and children who are the products of stable households. The NAACP should try to push family values, math, science and reading on its members instead of crying wolf.
bedstuy123 September 27, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Schools in our district fail to educate our children at the level needed to pass the test so outside tutoring is needed. Asian families put their children in test prep, sometimes a full two years before these test. Money to pay for the classes and the availability of the classes or private tutoring in our neighborhoods is minimal. Explain why District 13 (covering Clinton Hill and Bed Stuy) has NOT ONE gifted middle school program for our kids, NOT ONE. If you have a child who shows promise or was in the gifted program from K - 5th grade that same child has NO gifted middle school option in their own school district, is barred from applying outside their district, and has to compete for the few programs that are available that take from across the city and again NONE of these exist within the District.
pat September 28, 2012 at 12:25 AM
I am Latino, Hispanic, whatever the government wants to call me and sick and tired of being used for other people's gain. Leave our community out of your pity seeking arguments NAACP. The test if fair and not biased. We as a Hispanic people will not fall into this pity me BS other racial groups want to partake in. We will earn what we have coming to us fair and square. We are a minority and that is why there are so little of us in these programs. I guarantee you that all America has given me so far, is way better than what my native country could have ever given me and I earned every bit of it, just like many others, Still do and always will, I love this country and will continue to work hard for my children and my neighbors. My kids study their butts off to do well and I can guarantee you when they test, they will smoke it, because they worked hard.
BRADY September 28, 2012 at 12:39 AM
why is it always BLACK and WHITE? the article states ''31% of white students and 35% percent of asian students''if the asian students are outpreforming all others why aren't they listed first in the article .and if ''asian famlies put their children in test prep,sometimes a full two years before these tests'' why aren't black and latino families doing the same? i guess it's easier to do nothing ,cry racism,and wait for some judicial activist to give it away free without having earned it through hard work and perseverance
Parksloper September 28, 2012 at 01:56 AM
NAACP are busy little race baiters lately. Gearing up for the election I guess. They're also whining to the UN of all places that convicted felons should have the right to vote. How about not committing a crime in the first place. It was the same with the firefighters test awhile ago in Ct. Blacks didn't score as high as whites or hispanics so they filed a lawsuit. Later in 2009, 19 whites and 1 hispanic were denied promotions because blacks again didn't score as well and city officials didn't want another lawsuit. If at first you can't succeed, sue and claim racism.
Parksloper September 28, 2012 at 02:06 AM
"Schools in our district fail to educate our children" No, you should say teachers and families failing the kids.... not necessarily in that order. People need to put their children in Charter Schools where they have a fighting chance for an education. How many more examples do people need of our failing public school system? Obama eliminated the DC voucher system and has said that he would not send his kids to public schools. President Obama’s 2013 budget request not only recklessly increases funding for the Department of Education by another 3.5 percent (taking the bloated agency’s budget to $68.9 BILLION), it brazenly eliminates funding for the highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. But not even a year ago, D.C. parents were elated to learn that Speaker Boehner had successfully fought for the program’s re-authorization.
BRADY September 28, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Parksloper,I can't remember the last time i saw an ASIAN or a FEMALE firefighter i've seen plenty of BLACK,HISPANIC,WHITE firefighters why dosen't the federal judge question that theres more BLACK FIREMEN than these two minority groups ,seems they are underepresented on the FDNY but they make up a MAJORITY of the five boroughs population .IT must be RACISM because there aren't enough of ASIANS and WOMEN allowed onto the FDNY it must have something about the civil service test every one must take and pass to become a member of the fdny, BLACKS can pass, HISPANICS can pass,WHITES can pass WHY CAN'T ASIANS AND WOMEN PASS!?!?the only answer is they are being held back on purpose!
Christina September 28, 2012 at 02:15 PM
As a parent with my second child going through the NYC Public School system I can certainly see the changes from when my daughter attend vs the current schools system. Education begins at home, we have to stop blaming others for our (Blacks & Latinos) short comings. There are many, many resources out there to aid our chidren's success in this educational system. We can stand in line on black friday to get our child the latest gaming system by can't make it to a PTA/PA meeting or Parent Teacher conference. Most families have access to the internet books to prep for the Specialized High School exam is there and the school gives a child a sample book as well. We have to stop sitting on our bums and if we don't have a resource in our community we need to come together as parents and make it happen. Charter schools are not the answer becasue they are not fairing well themselves. Why can't we put the energy in to the failing schools. Again when it comes to testing for any civil service job there are resources at the library, online and Barnes and Noble. We all know that there are wicked people in the world and unfortunately they are the ones that old the cards. The school year has just begun let's make it successfu by doing all that we can do for our children.
Christina September 28, 2012 at 02:17 PM
oops meant to say but.
Linda Hill September 28, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I to am a black female who has worked hard for what I have. But to all of the NAACP haters...wait until the iNvestigation is over, if there is no racial bias with the test than you will have your answer...but prejudging the outcome may be just as ubsurd as the argument
bedstuy123 September 28, 2012 at 03:22 PM
"Schools" are defined by the teachers and administrators who occupy the building and yes they are failing our kids. Charter schools are no better, believe me, I have my child in one and have to supplement her education at every turn. The problem in general is that the curriculum taught is not aggressive, is dumbed down and flat lined. The teachers teach to the mean rather than push to a higher standard for fear of losing too many kids. Of course parents have a huge part to play, but unless we choose to home school our kids, we have entered into a contract with the school system to provide the best education possible for our children. I think the NAACP lawsuit serves only one purpose, to wake people up to the situation. I don't think the solution, however, is to change the standard of admission to the elite schools. I believe that we need to level the playing field. If the schools (charter and public alike) refuse or can't provide the level of education needed then parents and communities need to band together to provide alternative learning centers for our kids. We can create our own tutoring or learning centers that are affordable and available in our neighborhoods. The NAACP can facilitate these efforts. We have had very successful efforts to provide avenues for our children who have learning disabilities. I am glad that we are at least having a conversation about aiding our children whose intellectual gifts are not being supported.
Christina September 28, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Thank you Bedstuy123 for bringing up the curriculum and how it's being dumbed down. When the lesson plan has to be stopped to prep the kids for the upcoming State Test that's a problem for me. It was my feeling that the Curriculum should align with the test. I have a son in 10th grade and I am already working with him on the upcoming regents exams.
BK Boo October 08, 2012 at 08:41 PM
NOTE: The article does not say that African American and Latino students scored lower. The article is about bias as represented in ALL students who did WELL on the test and the percentage who were then ACCEPTED. 31 white and and 35% Asian accepted vs 5% and 6.7% acceptance rate of African American and Latino who scored WELL.
Jake October 09, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Thank you BK Boo for this more accurate understanding of the article.
BRADY October 09, 2012 at 04:32 AM
So BK Boo what you are saying is that Asians are keeping out most of the other races since your stats state they are the most accepted in these schools


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