View Full Version : All NYC Race Gap Persists at NYC's Specialized High Schools

08-20-2012, 11:24 AM
From NBC New York (http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Specialized-High-Schools-Race-Gap-NYC-Private-Tutoring-DREAM-Stuyvesant-166613716.html) by Melissa Russo:

A dramatic race gap persists at the city’s most elite public high schools, a product of a single standardized entrance exam that privileges students who have been intensively primed and prepped through expensive private tutoring programs, NBC 4 New York's I-Team has found.

At Stuyvesant High School, widely viewed as the crown jewels of the top public high schools, just two percent of incoming ninth-graders are black, and 3.5 percent are Hispanic, according to preliminary enrollment numbers obtained by the I-Team.

In the general New York City public school population, the two groups comprise a total of 77 percent.

Meanwhile, 71 percent of the year's incoming ninth-graders at Stuyvesant are Asian.

"It's alarming to see how low these numbers are," said Neida Guzman, whose son Jonathan is a black middle-schooler and hopes to get into Stuyvesant.

All of the incoming freshmen took the SHSAT standardized exam to get into Stuyvesant and other top schools like Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School. And city officials and critics agree that it's nearly impossible to score high on the exam without tutoring.

The opportunity to succeed on the exam as a result of private instruction tends to be predicted by the student's race. For example, in Flushing, Queens, an increasing number of young students from Asian immigrant families are spending summers and weekends at private test prep sites like Elite Academy.

Director Jeannie Kim said her customers can afford the tutoring, though some struggle and use payment plans. But she believes the reason Asian-American students flock to tutors, and therefore score high on the entrance exams, can be traced to cultural roots.

"The cultures, sort of on the Asian side and the Eastern Europeaners, they're used to going to school six days a week," director Jeannie Kim said.

But she recognizes that the test-taking skills that students pick up at Elite Academy give them a clear advantage many others don't have.

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