Things That Matter

Data Shows New York City’s Most Elite High Schools Are Also The Most Segregated

On the heels of the college admissions scandal highlighted the class divide in accessing higher education, new data reveals a similar story for some trying to get to into elite high schools. A report by the New York Times shows Latino and Black students make up 70 percent of New York’s public school students, but only 10 percent are admitted to the city’s eight specialized high schools. Stuyvesant High School, one of the city’s most selective schools, has gotten the most attention for admitting only seven Black students and 33 Latino students out of the 895 students of next year’s freshman class.

In total, about six percent of the offers from New York City’s top schools were reportedly handed out to Latino students and four percent were offered to black students. The report has started a conversation on how to racially integrate the city’s elite high schools.

At issue in the admissions process is a test called the Specialized High School Admissions Test(SHSAT), which helps determine placement.

Credit: NY Times

Each year, the eight high schools admit close to 4,000 freshmen from a pool of nearly 30,000 eighth-graders who take the Specialized High School Admission Test. As of now, students are accepted on how well they perform on those test. Students spend months prepping for the test in hopes of getting into one of these elite schools.

Stuyvesant is the toughest school to get admitted to and also has the highest cutoff score for admission. Due to these factors, the school also has the lowest percentage of Black and Latino students of any of New York City’s roughly 600 public high schools.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed replacing the exam with a system based on middle-school class ranks and statewide standardized test scores.

“Can anyone look the parent of a Latino or Black child in the eye and tell them their precious daughter or son has an equal chance to get into one of their city’s best high schools?” de Blasio wrote in an op-ed for Chalkbeat. “You can’t write a single test that captures the full reality of a person.”

But there has yet be any progression towards anything being done to change this testing system. Yet the recently released numbers show the growing disparity of those getting a great education compared to those, mainly Latino and Blacks students, that aren’t.

The admissions statistics highlight the enormity of education inequity at New York City’s top high schools.

While the dismal statistics show a harsh reality for many minorities in the city, others say the issue needs to be carefully approached. Some have speculated that the high numbers of Asian-American students, who make up the majority of the school popuilation, would be reduced to make space for more Latino and Black students.

John Liu, a state senator from the borough of Queens who chairs the Senate’s New York City education committee, told the NY Times. “A desegregation plan can only be effective if the problem is viewed as a whole, and one that is not formulated to the total exclusion of Asian-Americans.”

Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out the elite Stuyvesant High School for their low admittance numbers.

Among those who that have spoke on the dismal admission numbers is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). The Bronx congresswoman took to Twitter to express her displeasure with the alarming report.

“[Sixty-eight percent] of all NYC public school students are Black or Latino,” Ocasio tweeted. “To only have 7 Black students accepted into Stuyvesant tells us that this is a system failure. Education inequity is a major factor in the racial wealth gap. This is what injustice looks like.”

Broad change is desperately needed in the New York City public school system.

Credit: Getty Images

If the admission system is failing students of color from getting quality education. there might be a greater problem here. While one side wants to overhaul to admission system, the other warns it’ll heavily affect the current population of students attending these schools.

The issue is being played out in the largest school district in the country, which enrolls almost one million children. It also highlights the larger issue of education inequality being discussed across the country, both in K-12 and in higher education.

At a town hall this past Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez, state senators, and education activists took part in a discussion about improving public schools. While Ocasio-Cortez didn’t take a stance on overhauling the admission system, she asked why all public city schools don’t have similarly quality reputations as the elite high schools.

“Why isn’t every public school in New York City a Brooklyn Tech-caliber school?” Ocasio-Cortez asked. “Every one should be.”

READ: The College Cheating Scandal Highlights The Different Paths Many Face Getting To College

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In A Good 2020 Surprise: AOC Nominated For Emmy

Things That Matter

In A Good 2020 Surprise: AOC Nominated For Emmy

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

This year has been filled with surprises. Most of then have not been good, i.e. Covid, but we have one now that is bringing some light to our lives. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been nominated for an Emmy. Talk about a surprise.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been nominated for an Emmy because of her Green New Deal video.

The seven-minute video broke down the Green New Deal that has scared and angered many. That video, with the quick painting, has been nominated for the New Analysis: Editorial And Opinion category. AOC is up against some stiff and well-known competition, including Jorge Ramos and Rachel Maddow.

The video takes people through the process of getting the Green New Deal through and the things that it can do. The video was a pivotal moment in the fight for the progressive agenda and the nomination further solidifies its place in history.

Everyone who worked on the project is stunned by the nomination.

It was a very humble and little video that aimed to educate people about a big piece of legislation that so many people were confused by. The legislation is aimed at tackling the environmental crisis that is threatening the nation and the world.

The bill is based on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and is using $7 trillion to create a more sustainable world. This even includes retraining people so they can take part in the green energy and sustainable shift in the economy.

Months later, this video is still inspiring people to get the deal passed.

Way to go, AOC! Good luck with the nomination.

READ: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Delivered an Impassioned Speech After the ‘Green New Deal’ Failed to Pass in the House

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Lynda Carter Encourages Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez To ‘Never Stop Being Fierce’ Amid Yoho’s Harassment

Fierce

Lynda Carter Encourages Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez To ‘Never Stop Being Fierce’ Amid Yoho’s Harassment

Hulton Archive / Getty, Samuel Corum / Getty

Two of the greatest superheroes of our time, the original Wonder Woman  (Lynda Carter) and Reprenstantive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are all about girl power.

Carter shared her support for the freshman lawmaker after seeing a photo of Ocasio-Cortez and a picture of Wonder Woman in the background.

Carter, who played the iconic comic-book hero in the 70s, celebrated her 69th birthday over the weekend. As part of her celebrations, she retweeted the image of the New York lawmaker writing “Okay, seeing this last night totally made my birthday that much sweeter. Love your decor, @AOC!”

Soon after, Ocasio-Cortez responded by tweeting the actress happy birthday. “Thank you for being a shining example of a woman’s strength! Happy birthday,” she replied.

AOC proved herself as a force to be reckoned with once again earlier last week when Rep. Ted Yoho called her a “bitch” outside of the Capitol.

Yoho denied the verbal attack but a reporter confirmed that he had also heard the comments.

Last Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez addressed the incident on the House floor calling “Yoho’s comments were not deeply hurtful or piercing to me” pointing out that her emotional reaction was “not new, and that is the problem.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s comments went viral after she addressed a previous “apology” made by Yoho in which he claimed that “having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognizant of my language… The offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues. And if they were construed that way, I apologize for their misunderstanding.” He then went onto explain “I cannot apologize for my passion, or for loving my God, my family, or my country.”

In response, to his words, Ocasio-Cortez rejected his apology saying “Yesterday, Rep. Yoho decided to come to the floor of the House of Representatives and make excuses for his behavior. And that, I could not let go… I could not allow my nieces, I could not allow the little girls that I go home to, I could not allow victims of verbal abuse and worse to see that, to see that excuse, and to see our Congress accept it as legitimate and accept it as an apology.”

She concluded by adding “Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. And when a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologize — not to save face, not to win a vote. He apologizes, genuinely, to repair and acknowledge the harm done so that we can all move on.”

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