Mayor Bill de Blasio schools announcement

Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office

De Blasio Proposes Eliminating Admissions Tests To Elite High Schools To Diversify Student Body

June 04, 2018 - 8:27 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio has outlined a plan to diversify the city's elite high schools by getting rid of the admissions test.

Nearly 70 percent of the city's school population is black or Latino, yet they make up a mere 10 percent of the student body at the city's eight elite high schools, such as Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech and Bronx Science.

De Blasio said the playing field must be leveled.

"For thousands and thousands of students in neighborhoods all over New York City the message has been these specialized schools are not for you. That's really what they have been receiving," the mayor said Sunday. "The status quo is broken, we have to make a major change. We have to make sure the very best high schools are open to every New Yorker, every kind of New Yorker. They need to look like New York City."

The mayor's plan would eliminate the eighth grade specialized high school admissions test and have the school look at grades and scores from the statewide math and English exams.

It's not just white students who would get fewer seats. The student body at Stuyvesant High School is 73 percent Asian and mostly male.

Getting rid of the admissions test is expected to boost offers to black and Latino students to 44 percent, increase the number of offers to girls to 62 percent and 20 percent of the seats are expected to go to low-income students.

The plan is already getting pushback from state lawmakers in both parties and the alumni associations of the high schools.