Lack Of Diversity Remains At NYC's Top Schools Despite Mayor's Efforts

March 19, 2019 - 10:54 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- New numbers show New York City's elite public high schools are getting less diverse despite the mayor's efforts to shrink the gap.

According to the latest figures, black and Latino students make up about 70 percent of the student population in the city, but make up just about 10 percent of the student body at the city's eight elite high schools.

At Stuyvesant High School, the most selective in the city, there were 895 slots available this year and only seven African-American students got in. The Bronx High School of Science offered slots to 12 black students, less than half of last year's number.

Nearly 4,800 students were accepted into specialized public high schools this year -- 190 are African-American.

De Blasio says elite high school must be diversified to reflect the overall make up of the school population.

He has proposed eliminating the entrance exam. In an op-ed on Chalkbeat last year, the mayor said the test is “a roadblock to justice, progress, and academic excellence.”

There has been push back from alumni organizations and Asian-American parents who fear of watered down academic standards and reverse discrimination. A lawsuit has been filed to fight the mayor's proposal.

In the state legislature right now there does not appear to be much of an appetite for scrapping the test, so the question remains: how to make the process more fair for everyone?