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"Standards" vs Diversity. Testing Standards Reduce Diversity In Elite Schools

The Specialized High School Achievement Test which the New York City Department of Education uses to select students to eight specialized high schools has come under fire from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. They have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education that the test is not predictive of success in these high schools and that its use has led to a diminution of the enrollment of minorities in the schools, which means fewer will enter the work force and the middle class.

According to the complaint “These eight prestigious institutions, … provide a critical pathway to opportunity for their graduates, many of whom go on to attend the country’s best colleges and universities and later become leaders in our nation’s economic, political, and civic life.”

Today we present the opinion of Edward C Sullivan, a teacher who spent 26 years as a member of the State Assembly. He was Chair of the Higher Education Committee for 16 years. He believes the current admissions test not only fails to predict success in the city’s elite programs, but that it doesn’t even set a standard.

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