"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

NYC Keeps Access to Top High Schools Away from Black Kids

Ten years ago Catherine Rampell published a piece in the NYTimes that showed ever so clearly how standardized tests continue to protect the privileged and to punish the poor.  This chart sums up the connection between standardized test scores and family income.  The same correlations will be found, regardless of the standardized test used:

In 2019, the same standardized exclusion instruments are still used, even as the use of a single high stakes test to seat students in the best public high schools of New York is getting new scrutiny.  Politicians of all stripes continue their silence on the issue:
. . . Mr. de Blasio’s proposal to scrap the entrance exam for the schools and overhaul the admissions process has proved so divisive that the state’s most prominent politicians, from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have mostly avoided taking a definitive position — even as black and Hispanic students are grappling with increasingly steep odds of admission into the city’s eight most selective public schools.
Meanwhile, 7 out of 895 students at Stuyvesant High School are black.
Students gain entry into the specialized schools by acing a single high-stakes exam that tests their mastery of math and English. Some students spend months or even years preparing for the exam. Stuyvesant, the most selective of the schools, has the highest cutoff score for admission, and now has the lowest percentage of black and Hispanic students of any of New York City’s roughly 600 public high schools.

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