Dear Commons Community,
It was decision day for many New York City children yesterday as the New York City Education Department told eighth graders where they had been accepted to high school.
Despite a push to increase the number of black and Latino students at the city’s most competitive high schools, the specialized schools, the number of those students who were offered seats for the fall was essentially unchanged from last year, according to the Department. As reported by the New York Times:
“Entry to eight specialized high schools is based entirely upon a single standardized test, and the schools have long been criticized for the demographic makeup of the students who are admitted.
Only about 10 percent of offers from those schools were extended to black and Latino students, though those students make up about 68 percent of the school system.
The Education Department has begun several initiatives that aim to alter that balance, including trying to increase the number of students who take the test, starting by targeting particular districts, and expanding the free DREAM program that helps prepare students for the exam.
Will Mantell, a spokesman for the department, said those initiatives had had encouraging results. An increased percentage of eighth graders took the exam in all the districts targeted last fall, and 33 percent of students in the DREAM program were offered seats at specialized schools.
Nonetheless, the number of offers made to black and Latino students went from 530 last year to 524 this year.”
The NYC Education Department appears to have its heart in the right place but some things just never change!