This week Kelly Mena, Stephen Witt and Tom Russotti sit down with Yvette Buckner, Managing Director at Tusk Strategies about the Education Equity Campaign aimed at increasing diversity in NYC’s specialized high schools (SHS).
In recent months, the eight elite schools have come under fire for their lack of diversity particularly their low rate of black and Latino students. SHS include Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn. In March, Stuyvesant offered only 7 out of 895 slots in the freshman class to black students.
This has led to a legislative battle in Albany on the type of reforms needed for more diversity in the specialized high schools. On one side, Mayor Bill de Blasio and School Chancellor Richard A. Carranza want to ban the test and make changes that would weight entrance so there would be more diversity.
This plan has met with much criticism and a lawsuit from among others, the Asian American community and alumni organizations from these specialized high schools, who feel there are other ways to better diversify these schools.
The Education Equity Campaign has a four-pronged plan to create more diversity. This includes doubling the number of specialized high schools,, making improvements in middle schools across the city, investing in free SHSAT prep for every student citywide, creating more timeslots and outreach so that every 8th grader can take the SHSAT and putting at least one Gifted & Talented program in every district.
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