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"How New York’s Elite Public Schools Lost Their Black and Hispanic Students"

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Replies to: "How New York’s Elite Public Schools Lost Their Black and Hispanic Students"

  • TheodenTheoden 254 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus I don't know what the % was for F/RP lunch. I think, though, I'm not certain, that F/RP students have been recruited by private schools. If you look at profile of a lot of the elite prep schools in NYC, they all seem to have (% wise) equal or higher number of Hispanic and African-American students as the SHSAT. That's just me spit balling, I don't have all the numbers.
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  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 4041 replies293 threads Senior Member
    As I posted before, the SHSAT schools vary.
    Brooklyn Tech 59 percent free/reduced price lunch, 61 percent Asian, 5937 students.
    Stuyvesant 42 percent free/reduced price lunch, 71 percent Asian, 3316 students.
    Bronx Science 42 percent free/reduced price lunch, 65 percent Asian, 3010 students.

    The remaining five schools that use the SHSAT test for admission are much smaller.
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  • CTTCCTTC 2443 replies166 threads Senior Member
    @Hanna
    Chicago has a much smaller, but academically comparable, system of public magnet high schools. But the schools reflect the makeup of the city better because admission takes into account middle school grades and census tracts, not just the test score.

    @maya54
    Almost every student taking the test has straight As. Being from an upper income area mean there are schools (Walter Payton for sure) where you must get an almost perfect score ( greater than 99 percent I believe from what my friends dealing with selective enrollment this year tell me that if a kid got more than one wrong this year it knocked you out of contention for Payton) where student In the lowest income track could score about an 80 percent and get in.

    So there is a diversity score. Are the parameters transparent to the public? Such as this census tract needs this score, or this is the results of admissions for 2019 by census tract? Or is it carefully hidden (just as colleges carefully hide their admissions stats by race)?
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  • maya54maya54 2676 replies100 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    @CTTC. Not hidden at all. Based on your address you are in Zone 1-4. Different number of “ points” needed for different zone in order to get in. The points you have is based on a test score and grades. It also used to be based on attendance until that set up a public health crisis in the city during a flu epidemic. Kids would drag them selves to school and spread disease just to keep their perfect attendance up
    edited June 2019
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  • HannaHanna 14866 replies42 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    There are a million small tweaks to the system that could make it work in NY; distribution via the top students in each middle school would probably be best, but you could also do pure geography rather than income zones. Take the top X% from each ZIP code.

    The point is to have factors beyond the test score to locate the talent throughout the city. Lots of colleges and private schools do it, as well as public magnets in many cities. They don't have to reinvent the wheel here.
    edited June 2019
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  • websensationwebsensation 2132 replies40 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    I am for pure meritocracy, but I actually don't mind a systematic preference for racial diversity in proportion to race population in ALL aspects of jobs including NBA, colleges, acting, politics. Education is just one of few areas in which Asian-Americans are well represented over the percentage of their population, but there are many other important areas where they are under-represented.

    edited June 2019
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  • melvin123melvin123 1880 replies34 threads Senior Member
    I really don't like the concept of admitting kids based on zip codes or top x percent from all schools etc. I think it is a feel good band-aid, rather than addressing the real issue of disparities in educational opportunities within the city. IMO, by the time the kids get to the 8th grade, opportunities for some kids are permanently gone. And for other kids it's a struggle on an uneven playing field.
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3373 replies12 threads Senior Member
    You either have a merit based system or you don't. Adjusting for zip codes, school, race, and other factors is straightforward discrimination. The headline should properly read "New York's elite public schools have gained Asian students".
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83791 replies743 threads Senior Member
    You either have a merit based system or you don't. Adjusting for zip codes, school, race, and other factors is straightforward discrimination.

    Of course, if opportunity to gain merit and/or score highly on measures of merit is affected by undesired discrimination, then a system based on such merit could bake in whatever undesired discrimination is affecting the opportunity to gain merit and/or score highly on measures of merit.
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3373 replies12 threads Senior Member
    In NYC in particular, those poor Asian students go to school alongside black and Hispanic students. They have the same opportunities as everyone else. Would you want your child denied a place for some political objective? These kids become the leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, and physicians who might make a difference for thousands or millions of people.

    It's unconscionable that a public school system paid for with public money servicing a local community discriminates against its own residents. This directly violates both the NY and US constitutions and is illegal, but that never stopped NY politicos before.
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  • brantlybrantly 4319 replies78 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    Hanna wrote:
    Take the top X% from each ZIP code.
    Zip code where they live, or where they go to school? Kids in NYC go to school all over the place. I think the "solution" already exists. There are several high schools that are purely test-based. There used to be just three. More were added several years ago. Now there are, I think, eight. So that was one solution. Another was the addition of high schools for which admission is based on transcripts, portfolios, and/or interviews. Students can choose which admission method suits them. There's ZERO reason a student must go to, say, Stuyvesant over Beacon or Eleanor Roosevelt. Just as we say about colleges here, there are MANY excellent high schools in the city.
    edited June 2019
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83791 replies743 threads Senior Member
    Why don’t Asian American families receive the same preference as other ses disadvantaged and historically oppressed citizens?

    Probably because most people look at race/ethnicity rather than less visible characteristics that are the ones that actually matter (SES, parental education, etc.). Since the Asian population the US is heavy with recent immigrants with high educational attainment (through PhD student and skilled worker visas), that causes many people to see all Asian people as highly educated and not disadvantaged, even though that is not true for all. Note that this stereotyping effect does not occur with black people from highly educated recent immigrants from Africa, due to the highly educated immigrants being small in number compared to the overall black population.
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  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 4041 replies293 threads Senior Member
    @brantly, the problem is that there are not enough good high schools. You don't just apply to Beacon or Bard and it's a sure thing--they have admission rates rivaling the Ivies.

    There are something like 500 different entities one can apply to. Some are free-standing high schools, usually small (400-700 students) and sharing a building with other small schools, and some are programs within larger schools. The quality of these schools varies A LOT.

    It is a truly byzantine system. and many students wind up in a specialized school because they did well enough on the test to get into one of the big three, especially Brooklyn Tech with 6000 (!) students, because the "regular" school selected for them was not as good a choice. The remaining test-in schools are much smaller, with 500-1000 students.
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  • zoosermomzoosermom 25663 replies594 threads Senior Member
    There's ZERO reason a student must go to, say, Stuyvesant over Beacon or Eleanor Roosevelt. Just as we say about colleges here, there are MANY excellent high schools in the city.
    This.

    As I said in the other thread, better outreach to the Asian community would help some of those students find options that are a better fit than the SHSAT schools - which are many. Among other things, I've always thought some of the drama surrounding this issue had to do with poor communication and marketing by the DOE.
    The system is wretched, as oldmom4896 indicated, but there are a LOT of wonderful choices throughout the boroughs, and as I've said repeatedly, the SHSAT schools are amazing, but they are not the best options for many/most high-achieving students.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1656 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    Posts #52 @privatebanker and #54 @ucbalumnus call out the crux of the problem, and that is when politicians use race as the basis of preferences in anything. DeBlasio and Caranza's motivation to change the metrics of admissions has very little to do with improving the quality of education in NYC generally or the test schools specifically. It has everything to do with the power of identity politics and the embarrassing nature of how NYC public schools have failed for a large group of students who need better education the most to pull them out of poverty. They want to cover up the failure by setting up a system that guaranties their desired cosmetic political outcome.

    Who loses, poor Asian families. We can have a serious debate on the merits of a test only placement system for these elite public schools, but the fact is the rules and the tests are the same for everyone. A poor Asian family has no better resources than a poor black, Hispanic or white family to do test prep. The difference is family and individual priorities. Community awareness may also be a factor, but that stems from collective family and cultural priorities.

    Post #50 @JHS is right on point as well. The only thing I would add to that is I would feel the same if the friend were white, Asian or any other race if they had the same challenges.
    edited June 2019
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    I, too, would "feel the same if the friend were, white, Asian, or any other race if they had the same challenges." But race/ethnicity is far from completely irrelevant to those challenges. If the boy I was talking about in #50 had been Asian, say Han Chinese or Vietnamese, his family could well have been just as poor (although note I didn't say his family was poor -- they were working class, but entrepreneurial and reasonably successful, just not a lot of accumulated capital yet), his father might even have been undocumented, too, but it's very unlikely that he would have older siblings who had grown up here who had not gone to college, or that no other child in his block had gone to college, or participated in a science fair, whatever . . .

    Anyway, the kid in their class who had the best admissions season was the Japanese immigrant from an affluent family ranked just below them. He had the same grades as they did, minus a basis point, and also similar test scores. He had almost no traditional ECs, in part because he spent many hours per week at a Japanese school. His "merit" resided principally in the fact that everyone -- peers and faculty -- thought he was the smartest and most original kid in the class. He got into Harvard and Stanford, the only two schools to which he applied.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83791 replies743 threads Senior Member
    JHS wrote:
    If the boy I was talking about in #50 had been Asian, say Han Chinese or Vietnamese, his family could well have been just as poor (although note I didn't say his family was poor -- they were working class, but entrepreneurial and reasonably successful, just not a lot of accumulated capital yet), his father might even have been undocumented, too, but it's very unlikely that he would have older siblings who had grown up here who had not gone to college, or that no other child in his block had gone to college, or participated in a science fair, whatever . . .

    Actually, bachelor's degree attainment among Vietnamese Americans is below the average of all Americans.
    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/08/key-facts-about-asian-americans/ ("Selected Characteristics" tab)
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  • HannaHanna 14866 replies42 threads Senior Member
    "the crux of the problem, and that is when politicians use race as the basis of preferences in anything"

    Really? The crux of the problem is not the inequality and racism that hold so many children back?
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