Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Diaz Reacts to Mayor Bloomberg’s Comment on
Specialized High Schools’ Admission Process
“I am perplexed by Mayor Bloomberg’s insensitive ‘life isn’t always fair’ comment. Is it possible Mayor Bloomberg neither appreciates nor comprehends the inequities at play when it comes to equal access to test preparation for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and educational opportunity as a whole in New York City?
“Moreover, the DOE has failed to understand what every major university in the country has recognized – that standardized test scores alone do not indicate the merit of a student or measure their academic abilities. Relying solely on test scores for entry into our specialized high schools is wrong and does an enormous disservice to the thousands of worthy economically disadvantaged students.
“My office issued a report on this very issue in May, titled “An Action Plan for Fixing the Specialized High School Admissions Process,” which was cited in the law suit and attached to the complaint.
“The report documents declining numbers of Bronx students are receiving offers to our two most prestigious public high schools. It evidences how an entire private industry of test preparation for the SHSAT has priced out the poor and does not service African-American and Latino communities.
“However, I applaud the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Latino Justice PRLDEF, the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College and Garifuna Coalition, USA Inc., for standing up for what is right. It is unfortunate that the Department of Education has failed to create pathways for our neediest children to be successful.
“In the Bronx, we have some of the brightest middle school students in the City, if not the nation. It is time for the Department of Education to stop placing artificial limits on enrollment and provide students in the Bronx and the City with the proper resources to make sure that their minds can thrive,” said Borough President Diaz.