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Declining black, Latino admissions to NYC’s specialized schools could be reversed

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The number of black and Latino students at the city’s elite specialized high schools has dropped over the last five years, but the next mayor could start to reverse that trend, a report says.

State law requires Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech to admit students based on the specialized admissions test, which was given over the weekend, but the report argues the law doesn’t cover the five additional schools Mayor Bloomberg pushed to require the exam.


Admission for those schools — High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College; High School of American Studies at Lehman College; Brooklyn Latin School; Queens High School for Sciences at York College; and Staten Island Technical High School — could change if Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio is elected mayor, the authors of the report released Monday say.

“I think what he’s searching for is how,” said Lazar Treschan, youth policy director for Community Service Society. “We’re trying to offer a real road map for what to do.”


The organization and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which released the report’s findings, last fall filed a still-unsettled civil rights complaint over the test rule with the U.S. Department of Education.

Their report documents that elite schools across the country consider at least a student’s middle school grades in addition to an exam for admission.


In the view of City Department of Education officials, applicants for all eight elite schools are legally required to take the special test for admissions.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has supported a program to provide better preparation for the elite exams to kids whose families can’t afford test prep.

Last spring, Stuyvesant admitted just nine black students and 24 Latino students out of a class of more than 800.

“It’s mind-boggling that we’re okay with it as a city,” said Zakiyah Ansari, whose eighth-grade son took the specialized high school exam Sunday. “Children of color in this city have not fared well. We know other states use multiple measures. Why don’t we do that?

 
Now, I would like to add in my two cents. I grew in a very poor family in the Lower East Side. Me, my two brothers, my grandma, my mom and dad all lived in a tiny, one bedroom apartment in the Vladeck Houses of the Lower East Side. My entire family were first generation immigrants, and the only two people who had attended college at the time were two of my cousins. Both of them grew up in the tenements of Chinatown. Like our household, my cousin's household was extremely poor back then too. One of my cousins went on to go to Stuyvesant, Cornell University, Cal-Berkeley and now is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Harvard University. My other cousin went to Brooklyn Tech, St Johns and stayed at St Johns to earned her PharmD.
 
While I was growing up, my parents taught me the importance of education. Neither of them had earned anything above a high school diploma back in China. They told me that I had to get an education so that I would not have to live the difficult lives that they endured. I listened to them. The looked long and far throughout the whole city for a good school for me. I settled in at Wagner. When I was in middle school, my parents couldn't afford to hire a tutor at the exorbitant prices that they charged. They didn't have to. Wagner provided all of us with free SHSAT tutoring starting in 7th grade. They worked out asses off, twice a week from 3PM to 4:45PM, usually while the other kids were out of school having fun. Wagner was a 40 minute commute from home, but was it worth it? Of course. I'm forever grateful that my parents didn't plop me into the nearest shit school just because it was close, and instead looked everywhere to provide me with an opportunity. I took the SHSAT in 8th grade, and sure enough I was accepted into the Bronx High School of Science, an even longer commute from the LES. At BHSS, I met tons of kids like me, kids from run down neighborhoods like Parkchester, East Harlem, South Bronx, all who preserved through hardships to provide themselves an opportunity. At Science, I ended up taking five AP Classes, went to Stanford earned my B.S. from Stanford University in Computer Science.
 
Just because a person grew up in a poor family in a disadvantaged neighborhood does not mean that they have less of a chance to get a good education. Just because they can't afford to pay for these prep programs does not mean they have no chance. What the NAACP is essentially claiming is that fact that since all these black and latino kids grow up in poor neighborhoods, they have no chance to succeed and because of that, the SHSAT is somehow racist. As a person who grew up in a poor family in a shit neighborhood (at the time), I can tell you first hand that it's not true. Anyone who is willing to succeed can succeed, no matter how much money they have. They just have to be willing to put in the years of hard work.
 
If you ask me,  the NAACP is merely just using excuses and frivolous arguments to try and label the SHSAT as racist, which is the complete opposite of the truth. Perhaps if they targeted schools and parents for not teaching kids at a young age about what's important in life, then we would not be dealing with these problems. Of course, the NAACP just wants the easy way out to blame the test and not attack the root source of the problem.

 

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Why does Stuyvesant have so many Asians? Why does Brooklyn Tech have so many Asians? I don't wonder why. Every time my mom turns on the radio (tuned to a Chinese station) in the car, the intermission between songs all invariably advertise services that offer extra tutoring, lessons, and test prep programs. People will only be successful if it's in their culture to be successful. No amount of affirmative action or grade-curving will change that.

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Why does Stuyvesant have so many Asians? Why does Brooklyn Tech have so many Asians? I don't wonder why. Every time my mom turns on the radio (tuned to a Chinese station) in the car, the intermission between songs all invariably advertise services that offer extra tutoring, lessons, and test prep programs. People will only be successful if it's in their culture to be successful. No amount of affirmative action or grade-curving will change that.

 

As a mixed race child who grew up in the Lower East Side myself... I don't agree 100% with this, I don't think it is mostly the culture but also where the person grows up... I know successful people of all races, many who are "minority" but grew up in nice places that became successful.

 

I got into Bx Sci myself and didn't go there because of the commute (LES to Bx Sci isn't that long, but I moved to SE Queens and now am in LI, so you can imagine the commute time.. I would've transferred). Where I grew up, there was people of all races, but many didn't care about education. I was raised to take pride and care into my education (which is a value that all children should be taught, imo.). A lot of the kids I grew up with didn't take pride in their education and sometimes pointed out and picked at my catholic school education and now they aren't anywhere near as successful as I am. (These were kids of all races mind you, some lived in different parts of the city and attended school where I lived.)

 

If a person is raised correctly to mind their education and take it seriously, regardless of race, they can do well, I'm a living example of this. It is unfortunate though that the statistics say that Whites and Asians do better though.

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As a mixed race child who grew up in the Lower East Side myself... I don't agree 100% with this, I don't think it is mostly the culture but also where the person grows up... I know successful people of all races, many who are "minority" but grew up in nice places that became successful.

 

I got into Bx Sci myself and didn't go there because of the commute (LES to Bx Sci isn't that long, but I moved to SE Queens and now am in LI, so you can imagine the commute time.. I would've transferred). Where I grew up, there was people of all races, but many didn't care about education. I was raised to take pride and care into my education (which is a value that all children should be taught, imo.). A lot of the kids I grew up with didn't take pride in their education and sometimes pointed out and picked at my catholic school education and now they aren't anywhere near as successful as I am. (These were kids of all races mind you, some lived in different parts of the city and attended school where I lived.)

 

If a person is raised correctly to mind their education and take it seriously, regardless of race, they can do well, I'm a living example of this. It is unfortunate though that the statistics say that Whites and Asians do better though.

This was the one other thing I wanted to get at. There needs to be proper nurturing. Unfortunately, it takes an entrepreneurial parent who wants to do something different with their kids to make the right things happen. The statistics reflect that: other minorities don't try to do something different. Remember: the exception and not the rule.

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This was the one other thing I wanted to get at. There needs to be proper nurturing. Unfortunately, it takes an entrepreneurial parent who wants to do something different with their kids to make the right things happen. The statistics reflect that: other minorities don't try to do something different. Remember: the exception and not the rule.

 

I can see your take on this however I have a different view on this. Indeed many Asian Americans are killing it in the job sector, will not deny that for a minute.

 

However: There are many non-Asian minority students who are coming from the lower middle class who are doing well obtaining bachelor degrees and killing it in the nation's universities. I know many students from Africa in the schools who are brilliant and intensely career-minded, very competitive in the colleges here in NYC, and that's just an example.

 

In a span of decade up to this year, freshman enrollment for Afro-Americans and Hispanics in the community colleges increased by 73 percent and 107 %, while freshman enrollment for White-Americans only increased by 15%, respectively. However out of that majority of new White-American student enrollment (which can be about 80 % of that enrollment count) has been exclusively at the top 468 colleges. Meanwhile more than 70 % of new African-American and Hispanic enrollment into secondary education has been at the community colleges.

 

Statistically more than 30 percent of Afro-Americans and Hispanics with a HS GPA of 3.5 or higher attended community colleges but only 22 % of White Americans with the same GPA were able to make it into the community colleges, let alone the private universities.

 

That is why we are seeing disproportionate rates in the findings on college enrollment based on color. Keep in mind that we live in the most highly segregated city in the United States, another factor, which affects how children are zoned in the community districts of the NYDOE schools to begin with.

 

Many of New York City's community colleges and universities in CUNY offers the best bachelorate and accelerated Associates degree programs in New York State, producing the best candidates for many industries in the US job market. Many employers realize that fully and take advantage of this seeing this as a benefit to hire many of these brilliant minority students who successfully obtain their college degrees and obtain experience, towards excellent careers in many fields of employment.

 

Why does Stuyvesant have so many Asians? Why does Brooklyn Tech have so many Asians? I don't wonder why. Every time my mom turns on the radio (tuned to a Chinese station) in the car, the intermission between songs all invariably advertise services that offer extra tutoring, lessons, and test prep programs. People will only be successful if it's in their culture to be successful. No amount of affirmative action or grade-curving will change that.

 

I understand and appreciate what you are saying. 

 

But what I am seeing is that this overall notion that people has, that all Asians are successful and affluent is an exaggerated assumption not based on fact. In fact the poorest of our own people are residing right here in areas of Flushing, Manhattan Chinatown and particularly, Brooklyn Chinatown. I've seen the conditions of some of the squalor some of us are living in for myself, it's appalling. Many people are seriously not aware of this problem among us New Yorkers in the Big Apple.

 

If I am correct I recently mentioned in another thread with source that about 40.9 % of our own people in the Asian American communities are actually of the working poor class or literally are in poverty, where the Asian elites are actually a small group. Meanwhile they poverty rate in the Asian American communities in New York continues to skyrocket at a rate that is to me, scary. The rates of poverty for Asian immigrants is accelerating at an alarmingly faster rate then any other racial group today. That means that today, for every 5 Asian Americans or immigrants, 1 person lives below the poverty line, which is shocking, surprising to many not familiar with the Asian American experience, but indeed very real.

 

I wouldn't want to have this model minority myth cast on myself as a red blooded American and native New Yorker of Asian descent with the issues we are suffering from swept under the rug sort of speak hence my viewpoint on the topic posted.

 

He said it for himself, I'm not the only one seeing this:

 

While I was growing up, my parents taught me the importance of education. Neither of them had earned anything above a high school diploma back in China. They told me that I had to get an education so that I would not have to live the difficult lives that they endured. I listened to them. The looked long and far throughout the whole city for a good school for me. I settled in at Wagner. When I was in middle school, my parents couldn't afford to hire a tutor at the exorbitant prices that they charged. 

 

 

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Im going to remove the element of race for a minute and provide some general opinion about schooling from me.

 

I believe that we must become educated. Everyone should atleast attain a highschool diploma, and have basic social skills and hard/soft skills to get them through life.

 

After high school is where the education for all argument begins to change. I'm sitting in the Honors College at UIC, wondering why I'm honestly here, when I could have gotten an associates and been out in the work force. 

 

I honestly struggle with this everyday, because it frustrates me that many people who get Bachelors , Masters and Doctorial degrees focus on their schooling rather than applying what they learned to the real world.

 

Alot of people in the honors college are engineers, pre-med, psychology degrees. All they talk about is schooling, getting that advanced degree, getting a job. But how do they apply it in real life? Apply the skills they learned, or develop their skills? I hear nothing when I ask this.

 

The pressure to go to college, get an advanced degree is a little overbearing here. Many people should honestly get associates degrees, they may better fit their skills and needs.

 

To sum up my weird comment, one must learn but also build skills to be successful. The two go hand in hand

 

 

 



 
While I was growing up, my parents taught me the importance of education. Neither of them had earned anything above a high school diploma back in China. They told me that I had to get an education so that I would not have to live the difficult lives that they endured. I listened to them. The looked long and far throughout the whole city for a good school for me. I settled in at Wagner. When I was in middle school, my parents couldn't afford to hire a tutor at the exorbitant prices that they charged. They didn't have to. Wagner provided all of us with free SHSAT tutoring starting in 7th grade. They worked out asses off, twice a week from 3PM to 4:45PM, usually while the other kids were out of school having fun. Wagner was a 40 minute commute from home, but was it worth it? Of course. I'm forever grateful that my parents didn't plop me into the nearest shit school just because it was close, and instead looked everywhere to provide me with an opportunity. I took the SHSAT in 8th grade, and sure enough I was accepted into the Bronx High School of Science, an even longer commute from the LES. At BHSS, I met tons of kids like me, kids from run down neighborhoods like Parkchester, East Harlem, South Bronx, all who preserved through hardships to provide themselves an opportunity. At Science, I ended up taking five AP Classes, went to Stanford earned my B.S. from Stanford University in Computer Science.
 
Just because a person grew up in a poor family in a disadvantaged neighborhood does not mean that they have less of a chance to get a good education. Just because they can't afford to pay for these prep programs does not mean they have no chance. What the NAACP is essentially claiming is that fact that since all these black and latino kids grow up in poor neighborhoods, they have no chance to succeed and because of that, the SHSAT is somehow racist. As a person who grew up in a poor family in a shit neighborhood (at the time), I can tell you first hand that it's not true. Anyone who is willing to succeed can succeed, no matter how much money they have. They just have to be willing to put in the years of hard work.
 
 

 

I had to highlight some areas of what you said because I agree 100%.

 

Now, I would venture to say that I am extremely spoiled, because of where I grew up, the education, etc. I honestly feel guilty everyday that I have these things. So I cannot comment or compare on what struggles you had to work through, that would just be ignorant of me.

 

Howeve, congrats on Stamford. It takes hard work and determination to beat the odds.

 

Even though I have been spoiled with opportunity, I still push my self. The one thing that keeps me from dropping out is that once I get my B.A in Urban and Public Affairs, I can finally show to people that I officially know the skills I have aquired from work and self edcuation. 

 

And what do I want to do once I graduate? Use my skills to help those who are disadvantaged, to provide them opportunity and show them that they can beat the odds.

 

I didn't go into Urban and Public Affairs to cut a check. I didn't go into it to plan TOD, Urban Agriculture, and do projects for those who are well off. I went into it to help the disadvantaged., those who are ignored by society. 

 

When you give some one a sliver of oppertunity, or show that you can believe in them, it changes their way of thinking. Makes them more determined. Makes them work harder. 

 

We will most likely never solve the social problems in the world, but it doesnt help to provide solutions to them.

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Im going to remove the element of race for a minute and provide some general opinion about schooling from me.

 

I believe that we must become educated. Everyone should atleast attain a highschool diploma, and have basic social skills and hard/soft skills to get them through life.

 

After high school is where the education for all argument begins to change. I'm sitting in the Honors College at UIC, wondering why I'm honestly here, when I could have gotten an associates and been out in the work force. 

 

I honestly struggle with this everyday, because it frustrates me that many people who get Bachelors , Masters and Doctorial degrees focus on their schooling rather than applying what they learned to the real world.

 

Alot of people in the honors college are engineers, pre-med, psychology degrees. All they talk about is schooling, getting that advanced degree, getting a job. But how do they apply it in real life? Apply the skills they learned, or develop their skills? I hear nothing when I ask this.

 

The pressure to go to college, get an advanced degree is a little overbearing here. Many people should honestly get associates degrees, they may better fit their skills and needs.

 

To sum up my weird comment, one must learn but also build skills to be successful. The two go hand in hand

 

That's why I always try to tell people to focus on obtaining college degrees based on current job trends, in other words, based on what are the hot jobs out there are. Make the wrong choice in major and the person would have in effect just wasted 4 years of higher education. You mentioned psychology majors for example. I see it too, that field is saturated and very likely that aspiring student may find him or herself between a rock and a hard place as there isn't too many jobs out there for social work or psychologists today.

 

Many astute and conscientious students who cannot afford the high tuition costs of the higher universities would carefully choose where to obtain their associates degree in a community college and go for that degree first, strictly according to job trends.

 

Then get in the field with a job and establish themselves while networking with other established professionals, building experience, gaining professional certifications, and so forth, on their resume. Then once they see that they are making headways in their career of choice, develop on their credentials by obtaining a bachelors to become more competitive in the field they are in, feet planted firmly on solid ground with economically secure jobs with room for growth while increasing their salaries for major win. If one is an aspiring student wishing to get into healthcare or the IT field for example this is the way to go. 

 

I've seen many walk from the community college classroom right into the healthcare field with an associate's degree with licences to practice as nurses, and now are either CNP's or even MD's making 6 digit salaries by making wise career choices! That's awesome.

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That's why I always try to tell people to focus on obtaining college degrees based on current job trends, in other words, based on what are the hot jobs out there are. Make the wrong choice in major and the person would have in effect just wasted 4 years of higher education. You mentioned psychology majors for example. I see it too, that field is saturated and very likely that aspiring student may find him or herself between a rock and a hard place as there isn't too many jobs out there for social work or psychologists today.

 

Many astute and conscientious students who cannot afford the high tuition costs of the higher universities would carefully choose where to obtain their associates degree in a community college and go for that degree first, strictly according to job trends.

 

Then get in the field with a job and establish themselves while networking with other established professionals, building experience, gaining professional certifications, and so forth, on their resume. Then once they see that they are making headways in their career of choice, develop on their credentials by obtaining a bachelors to become more competitive in the field they are in, feet planted firmly on solid ground with economically secure jobs with room for growth while increasing their salaries for major win. If one is an aspiring student wishing to get into healthcare or the IT field for example this is the way to go. 

 

I've seen many walk from the community college classroom right into the healthcare field with an associate's degree with licences to practice as nurses, and now are either CNP's or even MD's making 6 digit salaries by making wise career choices! That's awesome.

 

Im kinda in that place right now. Planning is slowly growing as a field, it isnt as dead as it was during the depths of the recession. However... I have thought about going and getting my associates in GIS after I get my bachelors. GIS is growing. And its not only a skill that I can use in [planning, but something that I could make a whole career out of. 

 

I've been extremely lucky to get some well known, high contacts and connections. And tons of advice from practing planners.... They brought me down from my dream of being in a major city like NYC , Chicago, Boston, etc and focusing on smaller cities like Aurora,IL, New Havem, Worcester.etc.

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Im kinda in that place right now. Planning is slowly growing as a field, it isnt as dead as it was during the depths of the recession. However... I have thought about going and getting my associates in GIS after I get my bachelors. GIS is growing. And its not only a skill that I can use in [planning, but something that I could make a whole career out of. 

 

I've been extremely lucky to get some well known, high contacts and connections. And tons of advice from practing planners.... They brought me down from my dream of being in a major city like NYC , Chicago, Boston, etc and focusing on smaller cities like Aurora,IL, New Havem, Worcester.etc.

 

Yep. You are on the money, looks like you are on the right path.

 

That's the deal with the IT field. Despite the fact that on record it is a growing field, much of the work in New York City's Silicon Valley is contracts and the competition is extreme as us native NYers  are competing with others from all over the world in an international urban hub, much like Chicago with similar challenges which parallel the difficult living here in NYC almost to a tee as a huge metropolis in itself, although with the Big Apple it can outdo L.A in the sheer economic difficulties faced with the ever rising high costs of living. 

 

I am a freelancing IT consultant by trade with credentials who is actively back in college in a Nursing major myself realizing that the healthcare field is a dramatically growing traditional field where all jobs are not contract but rather direct hire with union benefits and high salaries. I see the benefits in a career change to the healthcare field as compared to the IT field. Once I succeed I will be making a killing in terms of income earned in a unionized job set for life up there with even the MTA personel.  Fortunately I am not alone, as also you yourself.

 

To quote the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/education/26JOBS.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

With the world growing ever more complex and new technologies being developed every day, it’s hardly surprising that millions of Americans have returned to campus. Some return to their alma maters or other colleges, some pursue continuing education at graduate schools and some turn to their local community college. Many experts say continuing education is more important than ever because most college graduates will go through five to seven job changes over their careers.

 

This is why I am always encouraging those still in HS to be sure that that they are making the correct decisions in what they want to major in rather than what university they attend because a mistake in choice of major can cost them the chance at the all American slice of apple pie. So they can avoid the hardships of making an uphill battle in a career change for the better down the road. Very difficult to do if you are working hard and studying in college to ace those exams.

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As someone who literally just graduated from Stuyvesant, getting rid of the test as the only method would be extremely disadvantageous. The test is hard because it is a sign of things to come - all the specialized high schools save LaGuardia are extremely test-heavy. Want to get into the best classes in these schools? Take a test. Want to know where you'll be placed for required foreign language classes your freshman year? Take a test. Want to know what math you'll be placed in? Take a test. Tests at these schools are usually biweekly, in all classes besides gym. Admittance into classes is dependent on class grades, which are largely based on (guess) - tests!

 

If you can't pass the initial test, you are probably just setting yourself up for failure, because testing is a very real, rigorous part of the education in those schools.

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As someone who literally just graduated from Stuyvesant, getting rid of the test as the only method would be extremely disadvantageous. The test is hard because it is a sign of things to come - all the specialized high schools save LaGuardia are extremely test-heavy. Want to get into the best classes in these schools? Take a test. Want to know where you'll be placed for required foreign language classes your freshman year? Take a test. Want to know what math you'll be placed in? Take a test. Tests at these schools are usually biweekly, in all classes besides gym. Admittance into classes is dependent on class grades, which are largely based on (guess) - tests!

 

If you can't pass the initial test, you are probably just setting yourself up for failure, because testing is a very real, rigorous part of the education in those schools.

 

Yes so true.

 

Even to gain credentials in the field once in it making money one may end up in better be prepared to take even more tests given by the employers themselves. Want to win at an interview for a prestigious job? Get ready for a written or oral exam (literally), delivered by the hiring manager. Already in your job position and looking for a raise and a promotion? Better study hard for that test given by your employer. (The MTA does this via promotional exams for TSS or T/D, this is also done in the healthcare, retail, and IT fields respectively.) Consider writing cover letters a term paper due by a certain time to get the job or promotion. Being subject to tests is a fact of life in today's working world, let alone school in itself, after the fact i.e graduation with the bachelor's.

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Why does Stuyvesant have so many Asians? Why does Brooklyn Tech have so many Asians? I don't wonder why. Every time my mom turns on the radio (tuned to a Chinese station) in the car, the intermission between songs all invariably advertise services that offer extra tutoring, lessons, and test prep programs. People will only be successful if it's in their culture to be successful. No amount of affirmative action or grade-curving will change that.

 

It's not that cut and dry. I agree with you that the motivation for education often varies by culture, but consider that Asian-American immigrants often make more money than Mexican-American immigrants or African-Americans or other minorities...and then consider that that extra money gives you the ability to pay for that tutoring and those cram courses. And of course, it gets even worse with wealthy white families who can pay tons to prep their kids for every test. The problem, really, lies with the test-based culture more than anything. 

 

As someone who literally just graduated from Stuyvesant, getting rid of the test as the only method would be extremely disadvantageous. The test is hard because it is a sign of things to come - all the specialized high schools save LaGuardia are extremely test-heavy. Want to get into the best classes in these schools? Take a test. Want to know where you'll be placed for required foreign language classes your freshman year? Take a test. Want to know what math you'll be placed in? Take a test. Tests at these schools are usually biweekly, in all classes besides gym. Admittance into classes is dependent on class grades, which are largely based on (guess) - tests!

 

If you can't pass the initial test, you are probably just setting yourself up for failure, because testing is a very real, rigorous part of the education in those schools.

 

The test may be a sign of things to come, but it shouldn't be the end all be all acceptance metric. There should, at the very least, be an interview. As for Stuy's test-heavy culture, that's a flaw of Stuyvesant...and that was made very obvious whatwith the complete embarrassment of the cheating scandals and the principal's resignation.

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It's not that cut and dry. I agree with you that the motivation for education often varies by culture, but consider that Asian-American immigrants often make more money than Mexican-American immigrants or African-Americans or other minorities...and then consider that that extra money gives you the ability to pay for that tutoring and those cram courses. And of course, it gets even worse with wealthy white families who can pay tons to prep their kids for every test. The problem, really, lies with the test-based culture more than anything. 

 

 

The test may be a sign of things to come, but it shouldn't be the end all be all acceptance metric. There should, at the very least, be an interview. As for Stuy's test-heavy culture, that's a flaw of Stuyvesant...and that was made very obvious whatwith the complete embarrassment of the cheating scandals and the principal's resignation.

 

 

Your alternative is not as cut and dry as well. What skills are we measuring by hosting an interview. These are specialized schools and are designed to prepare students for STEM majors, not liberal arts. Bronx SCIENCE, Brooklyn TECH, MATH SCIENCE and ENGINEERING at MSE, and I'm sure we all know what Stuyvesant excels in. The vast majority of STEM occupations are based on applicable skill FIRST, not who is the most charimastic (although external qualities do get you further in life).

 

As a graduate of Bronx Science, I can assure you that yes, these schools do rely heavily on a cirriculum centered around tests. We share a mutual understanding that this is definetely not the optimal way to do things, but WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE? There is none, especially in the schools that place an emphasis on applicable skill.

 

Income levels also do correlate with relative levels of success, especially with tutoring oppurtunities and being raised in a learning-inducive environment, but I think the primary concern relies with cultural emphasis. It is no shock that Asian parents strive to push their kids to adopt STEM or medical fields of study, and I think this parental emphasis explains why it is that the best performers in these schools tend to come from lower-class Asian families.

 

I believe that organizations such as the NAACP are looking too much into affirmative action and not enough resources in providing education for African American families and community outreach. There are plenty of bright young minorities out there who have the ability to succeed just like their white and Asian counterparts, but it is the lack of pressure applied by the parents that is the primary problem. Instead of investing a significant portion of their income on Jordans, gold chains, Louis Vuitton handbags, and a leased BMW, they should use that money to invest in their child's future. Instead, this commonly seen lavish spending promotes the mindset for a child that they should also spend paycheck to paycheck, rather than focus on the more important aspects of life. Until the NAACP realizes this, the very practices they employ, will continue to yield unimpressive results.

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The test may be a sign of things to come, but it shouldn't be the end all be all acceptance metric. There should, at the very least, be an interview. As for Stuy's test-heavy culture, that's a flaw of Stuyvesant...and that was made very obvious whatwith the complete embarrassment of the cheating scandals and the principal's resignation.

 

As opposed to what? A written exam (because I wouldn't have a problem with that, so long as it was administered with the test; I feel that it's too easy to game the current multiple-choice exam)

 

The problem with other metrics is that they are all compromisable. Submit an essay? Other people could've written it. Submit teacher recommendations? Teachers are inherently biased, and students tend to blossom and discover themselves in high school. (Plus, getting recommendations for college has already turned into a giant clusterf**k; with lots of helicopter parents and children who aren't truly independent yet, getting recommendations in middle school would be a lot worse.) And god forbid that we start using race-based admissions, because then we'd see inequality of a different sort; studies have shown that as a result of race being a factor in university admissions, an Asian child must score 150 to 200 points higher on the SAT than a white child.

 

The test is the only truly meritocratic way to get in (plus, both teacher recommendations and essays can also be improved by bribing teachers and paying tutors, so it would largely still be subjected to the same poor vs rich mechanic, just with less qualified students making the cut due to money).

 

Prior to the recession, there was a program where school officials from the various specialized high schools would visit underrepresented schools, and offer free tutoring services to those who were disadvantaged. (I actually got into the school through one of these services.) While some schools would receive officials relatively well, others turned them away, because they believed that "the school wasn't for their kids", etc. However, of those who took advantage of the free tutoring services, many of them got into specialized high schools themselves. I have no idea if the program went away due to budget cuts, but the program should either be reinstated and/or expanded, to allow more students a fair shot of getting in.

 

I'd also like to point out that there is a clear double-standard when it comes to the specialized high schools; no one has talked about reforming the process at LaGuardia. It is the most prestigious school in the city for the performing arts, and rejects a higher percentage of students through a grueling auditions process. Most of these students paid dear amounts of money for music or theater or dance lessons, yet no one is talking about making it more accessible to the poor by letting teacher recommendations, submitted essays, race, or gender become an admissions factor, because that would decrease the quality of their student body. Why is this acceptable for the maths and sciences, but not for the performing arts?

 

As for the cheating scandal, that was a small subset of the student population. The rest of the students were angered by these accusations, because most of us consider the Regents a joke; it is ridiculously easy to get 90s and 95s because of the generous curves applied to test scores. However, in recent years the school has been forced to accept more and more students due to political pressure and capacity constraints in the rest of the system; the school was designed to accommodate 2600 students, and now holds at least 3300 due to lowering the cutoff scores. The school is now admitting students that should not be admitted in the first place (as do all similarly elite high schools in New York - after years of grueling curricula, Hunter's class of 2013 managed to whittle down from 250 to 150, due to the amount of students transferring or dropping out), and it is these students who are choosing to cheat.

 

I'd also like to point out that a year-long review commissioned by NYCDOE found no evidence of endemic cheating at the school, and that over half the students originally implicated in the scandal had charges dismissed; the original child was sending answers out unsolicited, and people were getting things like Spanish answers for the Mandarin Regents. Besides, if the school's test-heavy culture was flawed,

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But what I am seeing is that this overall notion that people has, that all Asians are successful and affluent is an exaggerated assumption not based on fact. In fact the poorest of our own people are residing right here in areas of Flushing, Manhattan Chinatown and particularly, Brooklyn Chinatown. I've seen the conditions of some of the squalor some of us are living in for myself, it's appalling. Many people are seriously not aware of this problem among us New Yorkers in the Big Apple.

People see us that way because we have that attitude. I don't know about third-generation Asians (if they're still even 100% Asian), but those raised by immigrant parents are all invariably indoctrinated with the mission to pursue education and take on high-salary careers. Regardless of the reality that 40% are in poverty, the one thing they are all rich in is this innate drive to pursue. You can say that some African-Americans, Latinos, or whatever other minorities also have this, but not to such a widespread degree as Asian-Americans. The drive to pursue education and success is a pan-economic trait that applies to poor and wealthy Asian-Americans alike. I used to be among the poor basement-dwellers when I was little, and now all my formerly-poor Asian childhood acquaintances have made themselves successful without fail.

 

I'm still waiting for a day when outspoken figures representing other minorities (like Al Sharpton) promote education. When minority groups complain that affirmative action isn't helping them enough, or that some school isn't meeting their minority percentage quotas I don't wonder why, because they are doing this to themselves.

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Al Sharpton is nothing more than a bigoted, hypocritical douchebag who gets his money from his sheep followers.

No what Censin meant to clear is that we need a better Asian American activist and political representation here in this county. The Afro Americans have that and we need to take a page out of their book, understand that. Asian Americans don't have as much a strong backing by the support of potential APA civil rights activists and politicians who can advocate for the Asian Americans of different nationalities that makes us up as an etnhic group in speaking for East Asians. I would say the same for South Asians but that's for a side discussion on this topic

 

I would know because I have met some of these activists such as Frank Chin who was instrumental in the post Civil rights movement who advocated for Asian American men in particular as well as our comrades coming in from the motherland. We don't have that sort of representation anymore. We need to get that back.

Edited by realizm
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No what Censin meant to clear is that we need a better Asian American activist and political representation here in this county. The Afro Americans have that and we need to take a page out of their book, understand that. Asian Americans don't have as much a strong backing by the support of potential APA civil rights activists and politicians who can advocate for the Asian Americans of different nationalities that makes us up as an etnhic group in speaking for East Asians. I would say the same for South Asians but that's for a side discussion on this topic

 

I would know because I have met some of these activists such as Frank Chin who was instrumental in the post Civil rights movement who advocated for Asian American men in particular as well as our comrades coming in from the motherland. We don't have that sort of representation anymore. We need to get that back.

Oh no. I wasn't saying that, but you bring up a good side point for a separate discussion. We don't have good representation in the media at all.

 

What I mean to say is that blacks have a voice. Latinos have a voice. And instead of these people leveraging their powerful positions to effect positive changes in their community, they waste it on bitching and moaning about their problems. They are basically there to beg for handouts (like affirmative action, welfare, reparations, and lower hurdles in competitive environments). If they could just make time for some of the "uncool" things like school and education, they would be starting a revolution. Kick some of those Toys R' Us or Macy's ads off the radio and make a moment to promote a tutoring program for free.

 

The mainstream culture is to glamorize sex, drugs, and violence. Having gunshot wounds is cool. Being the first in school to get into a vagina is cool. Having done marijuana is cool. I would know; they were hugely popular topics in school. Being smart and studious? Not cool. Little does this nation realize their most prized people (football players, actors/actresses, Kardashians, etc.) contribute nothing to the nation's productivity. They merely take money from within our borders and concentrate it in select few individuals. Meanwhile, the Japanese and Koreans are raking in our money by selling us their superior products since our nation has suffered too much of a brain drain to innovate.

 

It's time these other minorities promote a different agenda.

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The mainstream culture is to glamorize sex, drugs, and violence. Having gunshot wounds is cool. Being the first in school to get into a vagina is cool. Having done marijuana is cool. I would know; they were hugely popular topics in school. Being smart and studious? Not cool. Little does this nation realize their most prized people (football players, actors/actresses, Kardashians, etc.) contribute nothing to the nation's productivity.

 

The argument of many Afro American activists actually as well. They feel that the entertainment industry is influencing the minds of kids to do things contrary to whats important to be successful in life against a cruel capitalist system, things they actually need to work hard for to win and rise to the top of the chain. 

Edited by realizm

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