June 18, 2014
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – UFT President Michael Mulgrew has come out for support of NYS legislation that mandates the use of multiple academic measures to evaluate student applicants applying to specialized schools such as Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech. Presently a single multiple-choice test determines admittance.
Included in the bill would be a summer program that offers help to students who scored just short of the cutoff point for admissions. The prime Senate sponsor for the bill (S7738/A9979) is state Sen. Simcha Felder.
“The nation’s elite colleges—from Harvard and Princeton to Columbia and New York University—use multiple measures to evaluate students as part of their admissions process,” said Mulgrew in a statement. “But New York City continues to rely on a single, outmoded multiple-choice test for admission to its top academic high schools. Under the current admission system, Black and Hispanic students who represent 70 percent of our student body make up a tiny and declining proportion of the students in the three traditional ‘exam’ schools.”
“No one with real experience in New York City schools believes that out of roughly 52,000 Black and Hispanic eighth-graders, only 28 are worthy this year of a Stuyvesant education,” Mulgrew concluded.
According to InsideSchools.org, the Bronx High School of Science’s current ethnicity breakdown is 62 percent Asian, 23 percent white, 6 percent Hispanic and 3 percent Black. Stuyvesant High School’s breakdown is 73 percent Asian, 22 percent white, 2 percent Hispanic and 1 percent Black, while Brooklyn Technical High School’s is 61 percent Asian, 20 percent white, 8 percent Black and 8 percent Hispanic.
“As a parent and chair of the New York City education subcommittee, I share the concerns of other New York City parents about the current admission policies in place in our city’s top high schools,” said Felder. “While the SHSAT provides some measure of assessing a student’s academic strength, it does not speak to the talents and abilities of the whole child. This legislation is the first step in correcting this disparity,.”