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Black and Hispanic Charter Students More Likely To Gain Admission To Selective NYC High Schools

issue brief

Black and Hispanic Charter Students More Likely To Gain Admission To Selective NYC High Schools

By Marcus A. Winters April 15, 2010
EducationPre K-12

A recent review of data provided by the New York City Department of Education reveals that African-American charter school students were 60 percent more likely than their public school counterparts to earn a seat in one of New York City 's specialized high schools in 2009. For Hispanics, the rate of acceptance was twice as high for charter school graduates than for students from traditional public schools.

There are eight highly selective public high schools in New York City that diligent eighth graders dream of attending.[1] A diploma from a school with a national reputation like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, or Brooklyn Tech, can open the door to prestigious universities and professional success. But admission to these schools depends entirely on the applicant’s score on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. Because of the well-documented achievement gap on this and other common standardized tests, African-American and Hispanic eighth graders in the city gain acceptance to these schools at much lower rates than their Asian and white counterparts.

Though African-Americans and Hispanics make about 71 percent of the city’s combined public and charter school eighth-grade students, these groups made up only 17 percent of the freshman classes at the specialized high schools in 2009.[2] Given the size of their enrollments district-wide, if the same percentage of African-American and Hispanic students from traditional public schools were accepted by these specialized high schools, then an additional 166 African-American and 376 Hispanic students would have received an offer in 2009.

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