Achieving Racial Justice at New York City’s Specialized High Schools Should Remain A Top Priority

ALBANY, NY (June 8, 2018) — The admissions policies to New York City’s specialized high schools has been long debated. The outcome of the single test admission policy has led to an underrepresentation of Black and Latino students at the specialized high schools. Although there is agreement on the problem, the lack of agreement on a solution has halted progress for over a decade. Year after year, Albany’s leaders bring up this issue but there has been little action. For the first time the bill was able to be advanced out of committee thanks to the leadership of  Assembly Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan and the bill sponsor Assemblymember Charles Barron. This is a significant step in the right direction. The conversation must not end here. Parents, advocates, elected officials and students must all come to the table to enact a meaningful solution in a reasonable time frame. We are pleased to see that New York City Chancellor Carranza is on the right side of the issue. Efforts to end the deeply embedded racial segregation in New York City’s schools must be addressed in order to end educational racism. Everyone committed to racial justice and equity in education should be supportive of increasing diversity at the city’s specialized high schools.

It is important to note that the disparities in the specialized high schools mirror larger, system-wide opportunity gaps that exist prior to middle school. In order to fully address the opportunity gap New York State must fulfill the promise of CFE and fund Foundation Aid and NYC must fulfill its commitment to fully fund it’s Fair Student Formula.