Links to Press and Media Reports
April 10, 2019, Wall Street Journal – behind a paywall
Expanded Diversity Initiative at NYC’s Elite Schools Yields Few Gains
Data likely to fuel argument against the specialized high-school admissions test
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s effort to better integrate New York City’s elite specialized high schools next fall by admitting more students who miss the test-score cutoff for entry made only small gains in adding black and Hispanic students, data released Wednesday showed.
The mayor has vastly expanded the so-called Discovery initiative, a free program to help disadvantaged eighth-graders earn seats by giving them summer enrichment courses before ninth grade.
The city Department of Education said the program offered spots at the eight schools to 109 black students, up from 79 in Discovery last year, and to 169 Latino students, up from 95 last year. More Asian students benefited from Discovery’s growth: 498 Asian students got in, up from 332 last year.
“We’re using every tool at our disposal to increase diversity at the specialized high schools, but despite the incremental progress we’re making through the Discovery program, the status quo remains the same,” Chancellor Richard Carranza said in a statement. “We need to eliminate the test now.”
Wai Wah Chin, president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Greater New York, one of the plaintiffs in the suit against Discovery’s expansion, said the debate about the test might have spurred many Asian students to study even harder because they feared they had to hit an even higher bar now. She said immigrants from many backgrounds believe in supplementing schoolwork to compete, and “we should be aiming for that for all our children, no matter their color.
By 2020, the department plans to expand the Discovery program to 20% of seats at each specialized high school. Its officials predicted black and Latino students would get 16% of all offers for that fall, in line with its previous projection.
Currently, 62% of students at the exam schools are Asian. About 10% of specialized high-school students are black or Latino, despite making up nearly 67% of the city’s enrollment, by city data.
About 27,500 eighth-graders took the specialized high-school admissions test for the coming fall’s class. Those who scored high enough to be admitted the regular way include 190 students who are black, 316 who are Latino, 1,368 who are white and 2,450 who are Asian.
April 9, 2019, New York Post
Post Editorial Board
NYC’s schools chancellor is a total pathetic twit
Give Chancellor Richard Carranza credit for honesty, but his recent sit-down with The Post should remove all doubt: He’s woefully unfit to head the city’s schools.
Start with his obscene charge, as The Post’s Selim Algar and Bruce Golding reported Tuesday, that the admission test for the elite high schools is “racist” and anyone who backs the 1971 law behind it is “supporting a racist law.”
Huh? The exam results in Stuyvesant High School, the city’s top public high school, having a student body that’s majority Asian. That’s a bizarre outcome for a racist plot.
Just as odd as the earlier “racist” systems that decades ago produced overwhelmingly Jewish classes at the top schools. For that matter: As The Post’s Sue Edelman has reported, “from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, black and Hispanic kids made up close to half or more of the Brooklyn Tech student body.” Tech is an elite school, too.
Yet Carranza professes himself “surprised” that many here don’t see the racism he does: “That’s not the New York that I thought I was coming to — New York, the blue of the blue, liberal, progressive.”
April 9, 2019, New York Post
Richard Carranza’s black and white approach is ruining city schools
You’re a racist, and so are you. All of you are racists.
Why? Because you disagree with me.
Thus sayeth the Lord High Richard Carranza, the chief racial bean counter at the world’s largest failure factory, the New York City Department of Education.
Carranza is marking his first anniversary as chancellor by throwing gasoline on the fires of racial resentment. His bonfire is disappointing, even heartbreaking, but proves beyond doubt that he has no commitment to anything else, and never really did.
Claims that he was an educational Mr. Fixit have evaporated. The nitty-gritty work and the courageous decisions required to make bad schools better and good schools great do not interest him.
A self-described “man of color,” he has reduced everything to black and white.
Yet his record is hardly one of achievement. In 2016, when he left San Francisco schools after seven years, including the last four as the top superintendent, just 19 percent of black students were at grade level in English and 13 percent in math, according to a report.
He then went to Houston, and left after less than 18 months to fill the hole when Mayor de Blasio’s first pick for the city job bailed out. Some Houston officials were furious he skipped out so early — but in hindsight, they were lucky he didn’t have time to do real damage.
March 20, 2019, New York Post
Opinion by Alina Adams (a Stuyvesant parent)
The drive to change elite-school admissions is all about killing the messenger
My husband graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1985. Our oldest son graduated in 2017, and our younger son is a freshman there.
My husband and our sons are African-American.
Contrary to perennial claims by Mayor de Blasio and his virtue-signaling allies, the Specialized High-School Admissions Test, or SHSAT, isn’t the reason just seven black students were accepted to Stuyvesant this year. (Though, for the record, the Department of Education only knows students’ race if they went to public school, so we don’t have an accurate count of private-school students of color admitted to these high schools.)
I know it isn’t the SHSAT that keeps children of color out of specialized high schools, because I work with hundreds of families every year, helping them identify — and get into — the schools that fit their children best.
March 8, 2019, Case Update
Christa McAuliffe Intermediate School PTO, Inc. et al v. De Blasio et al
CIVIL CASE DISCOVERY PLAN AND SCHEDULING ORDER: All parties do not consent to conducting all further proceedings before a Magistrate Judge, including motions and trial, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636(c). This case is to be tried to a jury. Non-expert discovery, including non-expert depositions, shall be completed by August 15, 2019. Amended Pleadings due by 5/31/2019. Joinder of Parties due by 5/31/2019. Deposition due by 9/16/2019. Discovery due by 9/16/2019. Case Management Conference set for 9/18/2019 at 11:00 AM before Judge Edgardo Ramos. (Signed by Judge Edgardo Ramos on 3/8/2019) (kv)
March 6, 2019, Youtube
Video recording made by the Christa McAuliffe Parent Teacher Organization
Town hall event featuring questions by of Community Education Council District 20 in Brooklyn (CEC D20) about the DOE’s proposed changes to the Admissions process to the Specialized High Schools.
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza was cut off by a chorus of boos.
He faced about 100 parents Wednesday night at a town hall in south Brooklyn’s District 20 — the epicenter of resistance against the city’s plans to integrate its specialized high schools.
Spanning the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and a sliver of Sunset Park, the district has served as a reliable pipeline to the coveted schools. It is also home to the Christa McAuliffe School, where the parent organization has sued the city, claiming that admissions changes that will take effect this year will discriminate against Asian students.
“Let’s be really clear. The notion that you can only receive a quality education in a specialized high school is false,” he said, prompting disapproval from the audience.
March 4, 2019
Update on lawsuit
Christa McAuliffe Intermediate School PTO, Inc. et al v. De Blasio et al
New York Southern District Court
Judge Edgardo Ramos
Case # 1:18-cv-11657
Nature of Suit 440 Civil Rights – Other Civil Rights
Cause 42:1983 Civil Rights Act
Case Filed Dec 13, 2018
AMENDED OPINION & ORDER: For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs’ motion for judicial notice is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, and Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction is DENIED. The Clerk of the Court is respectfully directed to terminate the motions, Docs. 10, 19. The parties are directed to appear for an initial conference at lO:OO AM, March 7, 2019, at Courtroom 619, Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Edgardo Ramos on 3/4/2019) (kv)
March 2, 2019, New York Post
The mayor’s new scheme for top NYC schools is illegal and racist
Opinion page article by Wai Wah Chin, Stuyvesant alumni parent and alumni PA co-president. Excerpt below – click the link above to read the full article.
“Last December, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Greater New York (CACAGNY) filed a racial-discrimination lawsuit against the city after Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza announced changes to admissions to New York’s specialized high schools, eight of which measure academic ability only through the SHSAT, an objective, competitive test open to every student in the city. Wai Wah Chin, the president of CACAGNY, explains why she’s determined to fight their moves, which she says discriminate against Asians …
“In the 1920s, Harvard’s president A. Lawrence Lowell felt that the university, nearly 30 percent Jewish, had “too many Jews.” He wanted to solve this “Jewish problem” with an enrollment cap of 15 percent.
“To achieve this, Harvard instituted a policy of “geographic diversity,” accepting “top-ranked” students from around the nation. Jews, of course, were concentrated in a few cities. This, along with judicious use of “multiple-criteria,” “holistic” admissions, reduced Jewish enrollment to the targeted 15 percent. It was Lowell’s successor, James B. Conant, who ended the odious “geographic diversity” program and required all applicants to take the SAT.”
February 27, 2019, Chalkbeat.com
Jumaane Williams won the special election for NYC public advocate. Here’s where he stands on education issues
On the hot-button issue of diversifying specialized high schools, Williams has stopped short of supporting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to get rid of the sole admissions exam in lieu of offering spots to the top 7 percent of students at each middle school.
Williams is a graduate of one of the specialized schools, Brooklyn Tech, and in an NY1 debate earlier this month said the admissions test was the only reason he got into the elite high school. De Blasio’s plan has earned backlash, including from the Asian community — Asians make up 62 percent of enrollment at these schools.
Williams said he does support multiple criteria and access points for admissions.
February 15, 2019, BrooklynReporter.com
Public advocate candidates blast mayor’s SHSAT plan
Several of the candidates running in the special election for New York City public advocate criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial proposal to scrap the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT), charging that the mayor was going about the task of increasing racial diversity in elite schools the wrong way.
Jumaane Williams, Rafael Espinal, David Eisenbach, Jared Rich and Benjamin Yee all spoke out about the de Blasio proposal at a Feb. 13 candidates’ forum. The event was sponsored by the United Progressive Democratic Club and took place at the club at 29 Bay 25th St. in Bath Beach.
February 13, 2019
Community Education Council District 2: SHSAT Resolution (Passed by the Council on 2/13/2019)
District 2 is the largest School District in the City. With over 60,000 students, it is larger than many US School Systems. Read CEC District 2’s SHSAT Resolution here PDF.
February 6, 2019, Gotham Gazette
Enough DOE Deception Around Admittance to Specialized High Schools
How many times is the Department of Education going to mislead the public in connection with the city’s effort to eliminate the test used to select students for admission to its highest performing high schools?
Reasonable people can disagree about the value of changing admissions to Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and five other schools that use the Specialized High School Admissions Test. But facts should matter to the DOE.
The latest case in point concerns the city’s announcement that it was changing the Discovery Program to improve the numbers of black and Latino students at these schools. By taking an intensive summer program, Discovery is an alternative mechanism for disadvantaged students who just miss the SHSAT cutoff to gain admission to these highly selective schools.
If the mayor’s controversial proposal to overhaul admissions at specialized high schools were in place last year, more girls would have been accepted, and the number of charter schools with students receiving offers would have jumped by almost 50 percent, according to a review of the plan by the city’s Independent Budget Office.
The office also found that average grades for students with offers would inch upwards, but state test scores would slip notably in math (and slightly in English). Offers to Asian students would have been cut almost in half, but those students would still make up the greatest share of acceptances, according to the report released Thursday night.
January 18, 2019, Chalkbeat
Four takeaways from New York City’s response to discrimination charges in specialized high schools lawsuit
Enrollment through the Discovery programs is expected to grow to 13 percent of seats at specialized high schools this summer, city lawyers wrote. That would bring the total number of students admitted through Discovery to 528, more than double last summer’s class of 252.
City leaders have previously said Discovery would be expanded gradually to eventually account for 20 percent of seats by the 2020-2021 school year. But it had been unclear until now what this year’s expansion numbers would be.
January 15, 2019, Politico
Cuomo proposes 3-year extension of mayoral control
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing the extension of mayoral control of city schools for an additional three years, the longest extension Mayor Bill de Blasio has received since he first took office in 2014.
The legislation, which the governor unveiled as part of his State of the State address Tuesday, marks the first time the mayor could receive a three-year renewal and the second time he could win a multi-year extension. The executive budget advances legislation that would extend mayoral control until June 30, 2022.
December 26, 2018, Daily News
Jake Fisher, Opinion
De Blasio vs. great middle schools: His plan to end the SHSAT would devastate the best junior highs in New York
Mayor de Blasio’s plan to improve diversity at specialized high schools will have collateral damage: the inadvertent destruction of the city’s citywide gifted and talented middle schools.
Currently, the sole bar for entry to the specialized high schools, a group of nine schools including Stuyvesant and Bronx Science renowned for academic excellence, is a single standardized test taken in eighth grade, the SHSAT……
— Fisher is a freshman studying computer science at Columbia University. He graduated from the Anderson School and Trinity School.
December 21, 2018, Chalkbeat
Black Stuyvesant alumni rally behind program to integrate specialized high schools, but call for some tweaks
A group of black alumni from New York City’s prestigious Stuyvesant high school is calling on local leaders to “remain committed” to an effort to integrate specialized high schools like the one they attended — even in the face of a recent lawsuit.
December 18, 2018
LAB Middle School Statement
Parents of the SLT & PA of NYC Lab Middle School Resolution Statement Regarding Proposed Changes to the Specialized High School Admissions Presented at the General Parent Association Meeting on December 18, 2018 (PDF)
December 17, 2018, Chalkbeat
We talked to longtime city politician John Liu about his priorities for the Senate’s subcommittee for NYC education
But this year, Liu said the debate over specialized high schools is an issue that he and his colleagues “have strong feelings about” and will be “directly addressed and comprehensively addressed in my subcommittee.” Liu envisions holding hearings in coordination with the full education committee, chaired by state Sen. Shelley B. Mayer, a Westchester Democrat.
For his part, Liu, a graduate of one of the specialized high schools, is against de Blasio’s proposal.
December 17, 2018, Wall Street Journal
De Blasio Sees Too Many Asians
A lawsuit accuses New York’s mayor of using racial discrimination to promote ‘diversity.’
December 16, 2018, New York Post
Parents hate de Blasio’s racist plans for the city’s top schools
December 15, 2018, Daily News
De Blasio’s attempt to reduce the number of Asian-American students in the Discovery Program is unconstitutional
December 13, 2018
Pacific Legal Foundation
CHRISTA MCAULIFFE PTO V. DE BLASIO
Stopping New York’s attempt to discriminate against Asian-American students
Feeling that New York City’s eight specialized high schools contain too many Asian students, Mayor Bill de Blasio is changing an admissions program to limit the ability of students to get into predominately Asian-American schools. However, his so-called racial balancing effort will squeeze out Asian students—nearly three-quarters of whom come from low-income families. On behalf of Yi Fang and a number of Asian-American parents, the Asian-American Coalition for Education, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York, and the Christa McAuliffe Parent Teacher Organization, the plaintiff filed a federal lawsuit challenging the mayor’s unconstitutional racial gerrymandering.
December 13, 2018, New York Post
Asian-American civil rights groups, parents sue over school diversification plan
December 13, 2018, Washington Post
NYC plan to diversify elite high schools challenged in court
December 13, 2018, Wall Street Journal
Parents Sue New York City Over Mayor’s Plan to Diversify Elite High Schools. Plaintiffs say Bill de Blasio’s education initiative disproportionately hurts Asian-American students
December 11, 2018
The Christa McAuliffe Intermediate School Parent Teacher Organization (IS 187 PTO) – Press Release
The PTO at Christa McAuliffe IS set a course of action. Read the press release to be informed.
December 11, 2018
MS54 Booker T. Washington School PTA Meeting and High School Information Session
The PTA at MS54 held a well-attended parent information meeting on December 11. No DOE representatives were there to present the slideshow. Speakers were: Patrick Joseph, Senior Education Analyst to Gail Brewer’s office of the Manhattan Borough President, David Lee (www.coalitionedu.net), and Kim Watkins, President CEC3. About 250 parents attended.
December 11, 2018, New York Post
Parents fear that ‘diversity’ in elite high schools could backfire
December 4, 2018, Wall Street Journal
Parents at Packed Meeting Oppose Proposal to Change Admissions at City’s Elite Public High Schools. More than 300 parents packed tense meeting, some booed and heckled Education Department official
December 4, 2018, New York Post
Angry parents lash out at DOE official over diversification plan
CEC2 Meeting at The Clinton School – December 3, 2018 – Photos
This meeting was attended by about 300 parents who heard a presentation by Josh Wallack, Deputy Chancellor, Division of Strategy & Policy and took part in a comments and questions session. Links to press reports below. This was a vigorous comments session.
December 3, 2018, Chalkbeat
Manhattan parents decry proposal designed to diversify city’s most sought-after high schools
November 16, 2018
CEC16 issues letter to Chancellor Carranza
November 12, 2018, Wall Street Journal
Parents Mull Suit Over City Plan to Boost Diversity at Elite Schools. Mayor de Blasio plans to offer 20% of seats at specialized high schools to low-income students who just missed test-score cutoff
October 18, 2018, Wall Street Journal
Stuyvesant, Other Elite New York Public High Schools Could Admit Students Who Didn’t Pass State Tests. Mayor’s proposed changes would have given seats to hundreds of students who didn’t pass exams, data show.
September 26, 2018, New York Post
Startling number of city public school students don’t understand basic math, English
August 13, 2018, New York Times
Elite New York High Schools to Offer 1 in 5 Slots to Those Below Cutoff
June 28, 2017, New York Times
Assembly Approves 2-Year Deal on Mayoral Control of New York City Schools
June 25, 2018, Daily News Opinion
How each middle school would be affected by Mayor de Blasio’s specialized high school admissions plan
June 13, 2018, Opinion, New York Times
No Ethnic Group Owns Stuyvesant. All New Yorkers Do. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan would destroy the best high schools in New York City.
May 26, 2011, TheSchoolBoards.com
Stuyvesant Principal explains why he stopped Discovery Program for promoting diversity