NAACP Attacks NYC High Schools Over Discrimination

Black students make up just 7 percent of the students in the city's specialized high schools, but make up 28 percent of students in all schools. 

Posted: 09/27/2012 02:25 PM EDT

The NAACP is taking action against New York City’s public school system amid claims that the city’s most elite high schools use an admission process that discriminates against Black and Latino students.

On Thursday, the NAACP filed a complaint with the Department of Education alleging New York’s practice of using the scores of a standardized test alone to judge applicants for the city’s top high schools is unfair and puts Black and Latino students at a disadvantage.

"Even Harvard doesn’t do that,” said Damon Hewitt, director of education practice with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, according to NBC4 New York. “Most selective institutions use multiple measures to make placement decisions, to make admissions decisions."

"The policy is unfair to children of all races because it doesn’t reward them for the hard work they’ve done in K-8. It actually tells them, your grades are irrelevant, your work is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is your test score and that’s simply wrong," Hewitt added.

One of the most glaring examples of the schools' racial disparity exists at the competitive Stuyvesant High School, where, out of an incoming freshman class of 967 students, just 19 were Black and 32 were Latino.



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(Photo: AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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