New York Legislators Want School Expectations Based on Race
Albany progressives, backed by the New York City teachers union, want to lower standards for students to attend the Big Apple’s eight specialized high schools because some minority students can’t pass their rigorous entrance exams.
The New York Post took issue with proposed legislation that would change the criteria for New York City’s elite high schools from a merit-based exam to a formula that also considers grade point average and attendance.
“Turns out, minority kids are not passing the exams in numbers proportional to their population. So pols are offering their usual condescending solution: lower standards,” according to the Post editorial.
“ … (I)t’s crystal clear what our elites mean when they claim the exams are ‘biased’ against blacks and Latinos: They’re really saying they don’t believe these kids can pass. We don’t believe that for a moment.”
The Post points out that Asian students, for example, represent half of the students in the city’s top high schools, “more than triple their population.”
Lawmakers should look for ways to improve the achievement of black and Latino students, instead of dragging everyone down, and they need to look no further than the city’s Catholic and charter schools to learn how it’s done, the Post opined.
“Take Regis High school, an all-scholarship Catholic school that also requires applicants to pass a tough exam. Years ago, Regis established its REACH program to give extra academic help for underprivileged minority children from sixth to eighth grade,” according to the Post.
“Today, 20 percent of Regis students are black and Hispanic, and 100 percent of Regis graduates go to college. Regis proves you don’t have to choose between diversity and excellence. And the best charters show the same thing: Black and Hispanic kids can excel when challenged.”
If lawmakers are truly serious about helping minority students reach their full potential, they must address what President George W. Bush perfectly described as “the soft bigotry of low expectations” that has infected too many public school systems, the Post opined.
“Our answer: Give black and Latino children a way to escape failing public grade schools – and their entrance to high-performing high schools won’t be such a problem,” the Post concluded.