Schools considered ‘too Asian’ were once branded ‘too white’ or ‘too Jewish.’
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stands 6½ feet tall but still managed to come up short last week. The progressive Democrat wanted to eliminate the entrance exam for the city’s eight elite public high schools to ensure that more black and Hispanic students were admitted. State lawmakers, citing opposition from Asian families, blocked the move. Good for them.
The number of available slots at these schools is fixed, and last year Asian students were awarded 52.5% of them, according to the city’s Department of Education. By contrast, whites comprised 28% of the total, while Latinos and blacks were 6.5% and 3.8%, respectively. You’ll find similarly lopsided racial and ethnic results in other large cities—Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia—where black and Latino students are underrepresented in academically selective public high schools while whites and Asians are overrepresented.
Asian families in particular fear that replacing an objective test with what amounts to a racial quota system would come at the expense of Asian children. Given that other schools and programs for high-achieving students around the country are being pressed to become more “diverse,” those concerns are understandable.