New York City is barring black and Latino students from attending its best high schools, alleges a blistering complaint by the NAACP to the U.S. Department of Education, according to the New York Daily News.
The NAACP says that minority students are not represented at eight of the city’s “best public schools,” including Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, where only 1% of students are black, says the paper. Other schools that face a dearth of minority students are Brooklyn Technical High School and the Bronx High School of Science.
“Black and Latino students don’t see opportunity at places like Stuyvesant because of the admissions process,” said NAACP attorney Rachel Kleinman. “It’s not fair and it’s bad policy.”
According to the Daily News, the only method for judging students abilities is the city’s Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, and the NAACP believes the test is biased against black and Latino students.
Nearly 31 percent of white students and 35 percent of Asian students who score well on the test are welcome into the city’s elite schools, compared with only 5 percent of black students and 6.7 percent of Latinos.
According to the paper, 7 percent of students in specialized high schools are black, while black students make up 28 percent of the city’s overall enrollment in schools.
The U.S. Department of Education will review the complaint and, if discrimination is found, has promised a change in policy, though new state legislation may be required.