Asian-American Group Opposes the SHSAT

Stuyvesant High School is one of the city’s most sought-after specialized high schools. (Photo by Alex Zimmerman via Chalkbeat)

Many Asian-American families have been concerned by news that the SHSAT entrance exam for specialized high schools in NYC would be dropped as the sole admissions criteria. But the community is not monolithic in its opposition. On Tuesday, reports Christina Veiga in Chalkbeat, the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families called for the test to be eliminated in favor of an admissions system that weighs multiple factors.

“We believe that current admissions processes to specialized high schools contribute to the problems of segregation and inequity in NYC public schools,” the advocacy organization’s report notes.

Specialized high schools enroll a disproportionate share of Asian students. Many have argued that the mayor’s plan, which aims to enroll more black and Hispanic students in the schools, pits one community of color against others. Only about 10 percent of specialized high school students are black or Hispanic, even though those students comprise about 70 percent of enrollment citywide.

The Coalition’s report offers a counter-narrative to the debate, highlighting that many Asian organizations have long called for admissions changes at the specialized high schools and arguing that Asian students would benefit from an overhaul.

Still, notes Veiga, the group was critical of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposals for how to select students for specialized high schools in the future. Read why in Chalkbeat.

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