NAACP: Blacks and Latinos Barred From Brooklyn Tech, Other High Schools

Civil rights group blames city admission test for poor minority representation at top educational institutions.

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

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 percent of students are black.

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 New York 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 Daily News, 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.

The Hill Rocks September 29, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Furtgo you are right. What the NAACP should be looking at is the quality of the schools that minority students attend. If they are not being taught properly so that they have the skills to take and pass these tests, there in lies the problem. How can the tests be biased? I am in my 50s and attended parochial and public schools. I had good teachers and the standards were higher. If you didn't pass your classes you were left back. Those that applied themselves passed the tests. My parents were involved and monitored me. Stop dumb-ing down tests and improve the quality of the schooling in the so called minority areas. The parents need to be fighting for and demand quality education for their children.
Girly girl September 30, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I attended Brooklyn Tech (minority student). Like a previous poster stated it all starts from elementary/middle school. I was enrolled in a math & science program throughout middle school that prepared us for high school and the exam (I did exceptionally well in BK tech- as most students often do), I think if more minority students participated in programs like that (i.e. MSI- "Math Science Institute" which prepares you for the specialized exam) then more minority students would pass the exam and attend these schools. It also depends on the the quality of education the student is receiving. I attended public schools all my life, but I fortunately had great teachers and received a quality education. It all starts from young.
Nor October 04, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Very true
Nestor Torres October 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Hi. Hispanic. I fell asleep on the test and got into Brooklyn Tech. Tests aren't racist. This is ridiculous and the real issue of the quality of our education needs to be addressed.
Esther October 21, 2012 at 07:56 AM
The NAACP must really have nothing to do if it is taking on what is probably the last bastion of academic meritocracy. Rather than "dumb it down," perhaps the NAACP should devote its resources to raising the quality of the (affected) candidates taking the exam. Afterall, the first step to solving any problem is realizing that there is one.


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