Home > Uncategorized > The Case Against Test-Based Admissions to Elite High Schools

The Case Against Test-Based Admissions to Elite High Schools

February 26, 2012

The NYTimes today features an article on Stuyvesant High School describing the isolation Rudi Ann Miller feels as one of 40 black students in a school of 3295. Because admission to NY’s most prestigious HS is based solely on tests, 72.5% of the student body is Asian and  24% are white, leaving all other students at 3.5%. The result is summed up in this quote:

Her mother, Annmarie Miller, a nursing assistant at a hospital in the Bronx, recalled a cousin’s reaction when she mentioned Rudi’s pick: “You have to be Chinese or Indian to get in there.” A co-worker, also black, “said the exam is built to exclude blacks because it’s heavy on math, and black people can’t do math,” Mrs. Miller said.

One solution to this defeatism was offered by “a core member of the Black Alumni Association”: admit the valedictorians and salutatorians of each NYC middle school to the elite school. This idea was put in place in Texas where is is under fire because  a white student’s claimed she was denied admission of UTexas because of  a similar system. If NYC is serious about improving academics at ALL schools and encouraging ALL students to have an opportunity to attend its most prestigious school, it should save a seat for the best and brightest kids from its middle schools. Then the message would be “you have to work hard in class to get in there” instead of “You have to be Chinese or Indian to get in there”.

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