Study finds opening up selective HS admissions can hurt low-income students’ college chances.
Across the country, from San Diego to Boston to New York City to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., school officials are pushing to lower or abolish admissions standards for selective public high schools in the name of racial equity. But recently published research suggests that these equity-minded leaders might end up hurting the students they’re trying to help.
Racially neutral admissions criteria frequently do not yield a student body that proportionately represents community demographics: Asian-American students tend to be overrepresented and Black and Hispanic students underrepresented. This state of affairs is deemed problematic on the assumption that selective-enrollment schools boost the academic and life prospects of their students. Enrolling more Black or Hispanic students with weaker academic credentials would, therefore, redound to their benefit and ultimately help remedy broader racial disparities.
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