Thoughts On The NYC Specialized High School Controversy

We all know that receiving a solid education when we are young sets us up for life. Unfortunately, many students, for a variety of reasons, do not receive the education they should ideally be receiving.

Recently, New York City Bill de Blasio announced that a plan was in place to change the admissions process to the city’s specialized high schools. Currently, students who wish to attend these schools must take a rigorous standardized exam to determine if they will be granted admission to the school of their choice. For some, the problem is that these schools have student population of mostly Caucasian and Asian-American students. There are only a handful of African-American and Latino students whose scores quality them for entrance.

Some officials and parents are stating the fact that the students who attend these schools get in because of their test scores. The test is fair because it creates a level playing field. These students (and their parents by extension), took the time and energy to prepare for these exams. If they qualified (based on their test scores) for admission, they got in because of the hard work they put in beforehand.

But at the same time, I understand the argument that there needs to be greater diversity in these high schools.

I personally believe that if the parents of the African-American and Latino students who want to attend these schools cannot pay out-of-pocket for the test prep needed, the city should step in. Why should these kids not have the same opportunities because their parents do not have the funds needed for the expensive test prep programs? They deserve the same opportunities to prepare for the tests as their peers whose parents pay out-of-pocket for the test prep programs.

While I very much appreciate the Mayor’s thinking outside of the box, I don’t believe that changing the admissions process is the best way to fix this problem.

 

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1 Comment

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One response to “Thoughts On The NYC Specialized High School Controversy

  1. It is conundrum – in an ideal world, schools would focus on figuring out each child’s unique gift and not have standardized tests for everything.

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