Black and Hispanic Students at Stuyvesant High School
Dear Commons Community,
The New York Times has a featured article today based on interviews of the few black and Hispanic students who attend New York City’s Stuyvesant High School. The story comes on the heels of the results of this year’s admission testing that yielded only seven black students being accepted. Below is an excerpt from the article. It is a sad situation that is getting worse not better.
Sarai Pridgen had just gotten home from debate practice on Monday evening when she opened her laptop to find her Facebook feed flooded with stories about a staggering statistic: only seven black students had been admitted into Stuyvesant High School, out of 895 spots. The number was causing a wrenching citywide discussion about race and inequality in America’s largest school system.
Sarai said she felt sickened by the statistic — yet unsurprised. A 16-year-old sophomore, she is one of just 29 black students out of about 3,300 teenagers at Stuyvesant.
“I go to this school every day, I walk through the hallways of this school, and I don’t think I see a black person usually through my day,” said Sarai, who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. “It wasn’t shock that I felt, it was the same wave of disappointment I feel every time I look at the demographics of this school.”
New York is being roiled by a fight over the future of its selective schools, but at Stuyvesant, the admission statistics were especially piercing. For students, it is hard enough being a teenager, balancing grades and homework with social pressures and a barrage of Instagram Stories.
But imagine being one of the few black and Hispanic students at one of the country’s most selective public schools.
The nine black and Hispanic students who gathered for an interview after school on Wednesday said the sobering statistics had energized them to be even more vocal in the discussion regarding the city’s elite schools, and to make Stuyvesant a more welcoming place for future students like them.