New York City offers nine specialized high schools for children to select from. Eight of these schools base their admission solely on the score attained on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). This month students received offers back from whatever schools that accepted them, but two groups were severely lacking in these offers.
Unfortunately, Hispanic and black children received far less offers for their top high school choices than did white and Asian kids, even though more of them overall got into their first choice school.
Education Department officials said 48% of eighth-graders got offers to their first-choice high schools in 2015, up from 45% in 2014, according to New York Daily News. Only 4% of all offers went to black students, 6% to Hispanic kids and a whopping 30% to white kids and 33% to Asian kids.
These figures are only a 1% increase than 2014 when black and Hispanic kids combined accounted for 9% of offers at the elite schools.
The total number of test makers may have something to do with it. The number of black kids who took the SHSAT for 2015 fell by 300, to 6,266. Overall, the number of test-takers fell by nearly 700 kids to 27,170. Education Department officials said the drop was due to a slightly smaller incoming ninth-grade class for 2015.
Its critical that our citys specialized high schools reflect the diversity of our city. We continue to review a variety of ideas to increase diversity at our specialized high schools such as increasing access to the SHSAT, offering expanded free test prep and continuing to examine changes to admissions policies, schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña told the “New York Daily News.”