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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 132 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
    edited June 19
    @milee30 Well it seems there's an outsize number of white students getting the 504 accommodation, a fair number of Black and Hispanic and very few Asian.


    Students testing in typical conditions

    Asian 30% Black 22% Hispanic 22% Other 8% White 18%

    Students with extra time from a 504 Accommodation

    Asian 7% Black 19% Hispanic 20% Other 12% White 42%

    Well it seems that some Black and Hispanic students are getting assessed and getting the accommodation. In all cases, the parents need to request it.

    Again a drop in the bucket. And you are right - money makes a huge difference in getting a doctor to fill out the form. There are probably Upper East Side pediatricians that are well acquainted with this stuff.

    Any parent can request it. The bottleneck is a a doctor needs to fill out a form. Access to decent medical care is a perquisite, then.

    https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/health-and-wellness/504-accommodations








    edited June 19
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  • STEM2017STEM2017 4027 replies94 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,121 Senior Member
    Of the 323 test takers with accommodations, how many have earned a spot?

    Of the 27,000 total test takers, how many have earned a spot?

    Is there a statistically significant benefit to taking the test with an accommodation?
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  • TheodenTheoden 132 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
    edited June 19
    @STEM2017

    Below is the % boost the 504 extra time accommodation seems to provide over the general test taking population in terms of offers. In other words, Asians who had the accommodations, got a 49% boost in offers over Asians who took it under normal conditions. Or put it this way...Hispanic students with the accommodation got offers at nearly 3X the rate as those Hispanic students who took it under normal conditions. I worked out the % based on the NYT article.

    Asians: 49%
    Whites: 65%
    Hispanics: 280%
    Blacks: 175% - 400%

    So yeah - there's a benefit to take the test with an accommodation.

    Here's the article.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/17/upshot/nyc-schools-shsat-504.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage


    Students getting offers testing in typical conditions:

    Asian - 35%
    Black - 4%
    Hispanic - 5%
    Other - 23%
    White - 29%

    Students getting offers with extra time from a 504 Accommodation (These are the 323 kids):

    Asian - 49%
    Black - 11% to 14%
    Hispanic - 18%
    Other - 49%
    White - 48%

    edited June 19
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  • EmptyNestSoon2EmptyNestSoon2 35 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    edited June 21
    There are a lot of problems with these extra time accommodations, including people who really shouldn’t be eligible ending up with the accommodation. But another issue this data points out is that the accommodation, whether granted to the right students or not, is too generous. If the accommodation is meant to level the playing field for students with disabilities, then I would not expect that a proper outcome would have students with disabilities significantly OUTPERFORMING the non-disabled students. Shouldn’t an appropriate accommodation at most bring them up to par with the no-accommodations group? Yes, I’m aware there are some “twice-exceptional” students (could have a certain learning disability paired with gifted ness, for example), but I still smell something foul here. If extra time is to be granted, it appears it should not be double time or whatever is being offered, but something considerably less than that.

    Alternatively, I think a better solution is to make these tests untimed for everyone (or double time for everyone). If people are saying that speed is not an indicator of intelligence or that speed shouldn’t count so it’s ok to give students with learning disabilities unlimited or double time, then speed shouldn’t matter for anyone. Then kids who have slow processing time or whatever will not be constrained by time, but neither would anyone else.

    I just think that the way it is set up provides an advantage to those who get extra time rather than provides a level playing field (we can see this in the data). And so it leads to abuse. Taking time out of the equation would better level the playing field.

    By the way, I personally DO believe speed is meaningful, as I would prefer to hire people who can get more done more quickly, etc. I am not saying that speed isn’t an important indicator. However, if the population at large argues for extra time for a subset, then I think it makes most sense to provide unlimited time for everyone and just the people who need it will stay and take advantage of it.

    While my own kids didn’t need extra time on the ACT and had time leftover, so many of their friends could not complete the ACT in the time allotted. A key part of their final score was the fact that they left a number of questions unanswered due to lack of time. How does it make sense to give a subset of kids such a generous amount of extra time that they can almost certainly work on every question, while some kids run out of time lowering their score? I am not against providing accommodations to those who need them, but I find this current solution crazy.
    edited June 21
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  • hebegebehebegebe 2657 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,694 Senior Member
    If they truly left the answers blank, they didn't read the instructions. There is no penalty for guessing on the ACT and therefore no answers should be left blank.
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  • websensationwebsensation 2058 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,095 Senior Member
    I am of position that in USA, any motivated kid can get a good education. Now, motivation can go in many different productive areas such as sports, academics, writing, acting, cooking etc. I find nothing wrong to reward academically motivated kids by accepting them at good public schools.
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  • gwnorthgwnorth 352 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 358 Member
    @EmptyNestSoon2 extra time accommodations seem to be the ubiquitous response to all learning challenges and aren't extended just for slow processing speed. DS21 has that accommodation on his IEP but the only time it really gets implemented is when the school rankings are impacted by standardized testing. The reason for him is not slow processing speed but a difficulty with handwriting. Computerize the tests and he would have no need for the accommodation. Giving him extra time to write doesn't really help because of the amount of effort it requires for him to do so. Regular time is tiring enough. Extra time is torture plus it doesn't address the issue that it's difficult for the marker to actually read what he has written which can impact his marks. He has no problems filling in a bubble for scantron cards or doing multiple choice tests. It's just tests where written responses are required.

    As you indicate the playing field could be levelled if accommodations that can give an unfair advantage are just extended to everyone. There are times when slow processing speed could be a limitation but completing a test for selective academic admissions isn't one of them. I don't see a need in that type of situation for a test that places an emphasis on speed.
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  • EmptyNestSoon2EmptyNestSoon2 35 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    Gwnorth,
    Those are great points. And actually, my own son I am certain has dysgraphia, although I only heard about it when he was in high school so we never addressed it. But it has always been painful for him to write, and his handwriting is atrocious and very barely legible. I always worried for him on things like AP tests where he had to write essays, not only because it is so difficult for him, but really because it is so difficult for the readers!! I couldn’t imagine that they would be patient enough to decipher his writing. As an example, he himself sometimes would have trouble reading his own writing, consequently making math mistakes because he would read a “9” as a “4”, etc! ;-). I have been thoroughly shocked and pleased to see that they did manage to muddle through his writing and gave generous scores. Anyway, your child is a great example of someone who warrants extra time, and where the time is probably more (appropriately) leveling the playing field in that case.

    But there are so many who get extra time for other things, and it really provides a mass advantage (as we can see the students with the extra time so significantly outperform those without extra time, despite having learning disabilities). I do believe they could avoid some of this potentially unfair use of these accommodations by simply extending the accommodation to everyone, as you said.

    Hebegebe, I can’t say that they didn’t read instructions and didn’t just bubble in “A” for every multiple choice question they didn’t have time to work on. The point obviously is, if they didn’t have time to work on the last, say, 15 questions, whether they randomly bubbled in an answer or not, they were hurt by not having sufficient time to read the questions and properly answer them. My point is that although they are not disabled in any way, they just don’t have time to properly finish the test to the best of their ability. If these students were granted more time, their final scores would be significantly higher. So it seems unfair that a subset of students who are deemed to have learning disabilities (whether legit or not) do not run into this issue and have the chance to finish the entire test giving it their all. I would prefer to see everyone have sufficient time to finish the test.
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  • mathmommathmom 32012 replies158 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,170 Senior Member
    I tend to agree that I'd prefer more testing time for everyone. I know my kids were at a tremendous advantage on the verbal parts of the test because they are such fast readers. My younger son had a 504 plan while he was in middle school, though no one really could say whether he had slow processing speed, or just had trouble with certain kinds of memorization. The middle school would put him in a room where teachers were reading tests to student who couldn't read and other stuff like that and he said it was much, much more distracting so in high school he refused to keep the plan up. It cost him in some subjects like math, but in the end he figured out how to get around most of his issues. I actually now suspect mild ADD, given is general scatterbrained behavior and reliance on post-its and lists.
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  • collegedad13collegedad13 735 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 741 Member
    You should not have to take a speed test to gain admissions to these schools. Speed tests can be gamed and are in NYC. Black and Hispanic family income is generally one half of Asian family income. It appears that blacks and Hispanics are systematically discriminated against at these speciality schools
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5017 replies64 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,081 Senior Member
    The Asian families didn’t come here with bags of money. Let’s look at why they have incomes twice as high. In sweeping generality only, it appears to me there is a educational focus, strong family structure and reliance, and a level of commitment to lift the next gen on their shoulders. Tough to conclude to say it’s broad based discrimination.
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  • websensationwebsensation 2058 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,095 Senior Member
    edited June 23
    My parents (Asians with elementary and high school education) came to USA legally on nurse immigration long time ago with debts (borrowed from richer relatives and friends to pay for immigration process). My mom worked at nursing home in USA several years to pay back the debts prior to working at a supermarket, while my dad drifted from janitorial job to taxi driver. Because we were poor, I received nearly free education at an Ivy to which I was admitted, largely based on my SAT score and sports ECs, went to law school and set up my own business. Did well enough to retire before 50 and then now sending my kid to a private college as a full pay.

    As @privatebanker noted, our family came here with debts and less than $2,000, but some of other Asian families I know came with enough money to buy a decent house but the parents all sacrificed something, i.e., their social status, better jobs and family and friends contacts when they immigrated to USA; and almost all of them worked in jobs that were a step down considering their education level. Most of them who made good money in US did so by owning businesses, such as grocery store, gas stations, deli stores, fruit stores etc. and working 70 to 80 hours per week.

    I am the first to say that I owe everything to my mom (now deceased) who sacrificed everything for her children, and one of the consolations I have is I bought her a nice house and car with the money I earned. Most of Asian families who immigrated long time ago are similar to our own story, except for the fact they probably graduated from colleges unlike my own parents who graduated from only elementary and high school.

    For what it's worth, I plan to leave some money when I die to some public college (even though I went to a private college) to be used as a scholarship money for poor students even though I hated schools. I am just not an academic type but who don't mind figuring out things on my own.
    edited June 23
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  • brantlybrantly 3731 replies66 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,797 Senior Member
    Alternatively, I think a better solution is to make these tests untimed for everyone (or double time for everyone).
    THIS! I've been saying this for years! Whatever the time limit is now, double it for everyone. Period. That will save tons of money for parents who jump through all sorts of hoops to get accommodations. It will relieve test centers of extra administration. It will eliminate the problem of people trying to work the system. It would be kind of like a universal basic income. Everyone gets the benefit. Nobody has to apply. We eliminate a lot of administrative costs.
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  • hebegebehebegebe 2657 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,694 Senior Member
    You are talking about wasting a lot of people's time in order to benefit what should be be a small percentage. This time is valuable, and once wasted, can't be gotten back.
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  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 3823 replies285 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,108 Senior Member
    @hebegebe it's not like the students have to stay to the end of the double time period. The test is given once a year.
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