New York City’s Elite Public Schools Accept Tiny Number of Black Students

A staggeringly small number of black students was offered admission to New York City’s elite public schools Monday, putting pressure on officials to deal with the challenge of better integrating top city schools, The New York Times reports. At Stuyvesant High School, only seven of 895 slots from the incoming freshman class were offered to black students—three fewer than the year before, and six fewer than the year before that. Admissions numbers also dropped at the highly selective specialized Bronx High School of Science, which made 12 offers to black students this year as opposed to 25 last year. The low numbers come despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pledge to increase diversity within highly specialized city high schools, including his proposal to scrap the schools’ entrance exam and overhaul their admissions processes, the Times reports. Such measures have proved so divisive that politicians from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have avoided taking a definitive position. Students gain entry to New York’s specialized schools by scoring well on an entrance exam that tests their math and English skills. According to the Times, Stuyvesant, the most selective of the schools, has the highest cutoff score for admission and now has the lowest percentage of black and Hispanic students of any of New York City’s roughly 600 public high schools.