Ocasio-Cortez blasts ‘injustice’ that prestigious New York City high school admitted few black students


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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., charged on Tuesday selective New York public highschool ought to have admitted extra black candidates this yr, saying their comparatively low admit price was an “injustice” and a “system failure” — though an goal state-mandated check is used to find out admissions selections, and low-income Asian college students took a lot of the spots.

In her fiery social media put up, Ocasio-Cortez pointed to information reviews that solely seven black candidates secured presents of admission to Stuyvesant Excessive College this yr, out of 895 obtainable slots.

“68% of all NYC public faculty college students are Black or Latino,” Ocasio-Cortez started. “To solely have 7 Black college students accepted into Stuyvesant (a *public* highschool) tells us that it is a system failure. Schooling inequity is a significant factor within the racial wealth hole. That is what injustice seems like.”

The progressive New York Democrat cited a Monday New York Instances report, which famous that the inhabitants of black college students at Stuyvesant was seemingly lowering: 10 have been admitted in 2018, and 13 in 2017.

On the extremely selective Bronx Excessive College of Science, in the meantime, solely 12 black college students obtained presents of admission, in contrast with 25 in 2018.

However the report additionally talked about a number of details Ocasio-Cortez didn’t — together with that “low-income” Asian college students are a majority at New York Metropolis’s most selective colleges. At Stuyvesant, for instance, 74 % of present college students are Asian-People who carried out very nicely on the admissions check, generally known as the Specialised Excessive College Admissions Check, which is utilized by eight of New York Metropolis’s most selective excessive colleges.

Roughly 19 % of the scholars are white and three % are Hispanic, in accordance with faculty information.


The Instances famous that state efforts to assist college students put together for the check — together with free check prep for minority college students — haven’t helped change the admissions numbers in favor of black candidates.

“The numbers are abysmal; we knew that.”

— NYC public advocate Jumaane Williams

Because of this, New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio final yr known as for a brand new admissions system to New York’s most prestigious colleges, which might merely scrap that check, and as an alternative be certain that prime college students from every native center faculty obtained admissions presents.

“These numbers are much more proof that dramatic reform is important to open the doorways of alternative at specialised excessive colleges,” de Blasio mentioned, responding to the Instances’ report.

In an op-ed final yr, de Blasio elaborated: “Eight of our most famous excessive colleges – together with Stuyvesant Excessive College, Bronx Excessive College of Science and Brooklyn Technical Excessive College – depend on a single, high-stakes examination. The Specialised Excessive College Admissions Check isn’t simply flawed – it’s a roadblock to justice, progress and tutorial excellence. If we would like this to be the fairest huge metropolis in America, we have to scrap the SHSAT and begin over.”

He added: “Proper now, we live with monumental injustice. The celebrated excessive colleges make 5,000 admissions presents to incoming ninth-graders. But, this yr simply 172 black college students and 298 Latino college students obtained presents. This occurred in a metropolis the place two out of each three eighth-graders in our public colleges are Latino or black. … Can anybody defend this?”

Stuyvesant Excessive College in New York, in JuneMARY ALTAFFER / AP

However his proposal to remove the check stays unpopular in New York. A spokesperson for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, mentioned solely that there have been “two sides” to the difficulty, and Jumaane Williams, the town’s public well being advocate, instructed the Instances that he opposed scrapping the check.

“The numbers are abysmal; we knew that,” Williams, who’s black, instructed the Instances. “The query is what can we do about it, how can we do it with out needlessly pitting communities towards one another?”

Asian-People, backed by the Trump adminstration, have more and more challenged what they characterize as Democrats’ insensitivity to racism directed at them by establishments and people. In a single carefully watched case, the Justice Division final yr filed court docket paperwork siding with Asian-American college students who allege Harvard discriminates towards them in its admissions course of.


William Fitzsimmons, the 30-year dean of admissions at Harvard, who oversees the screening means of about 40,000 candidates and narrows them all the way down to 2,000 acceptance letters which are handed out every year, testified through the trial that African-People, Native People, and Hispanic excessive schoolers with mid-range SAT scores out of a doable 1600 mixed math and verbal, are despatched recruitment letters with a rating as little as 1100, whereas Asian-People want to attain at the least 250 factors increased – 1350 for ladies and 1380 for males.

“That’s race discrimination, plain and easy,” argued John Hughes, a lawyer for College students for Honest Admissions (SFFA).

Fox Information’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.

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