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High-school admission test standard triggers controversy in NYC

posted Nov 18, 2012, 3:00 AM by Mpelembe   [ updated Nov 18, 2012, 3:01 AM ]

USA-High School Test/Controversy -- High-school admission test standard triggers controversy in NYC

China Central Television (CCTV) - An admission test standard for local top high schools, which is now under growing scrutiny, triggered controversy in New York City.

Civil rights groups have filed a complaint saying the sole reliance on one test for admission is unfair, while Asian American students, who tend to do better at these tests, are worried they're being targeted.

A complaint filed by civil rights groups including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), states that year after year, thousands of academically talented African-American and Latino students are denied admission at rates higher than those for other racial groups.

At Stuyvesant High School, one of New York City's eight specialized public schools, black and Hispanic students account for less than four percent of the student population, while seven in ten are Asian, according to city figures.

On the other hand, some Asian students considered that the complaint is targeting them and could hurt them in the long run.

Ting Shi, a 16-year-old student, said, "I think the current system is fair. What they're trying to do is pretty unfair because it lowers the Asian students' chance of getting in. And we all work the same amount. We're all the same status. We're low-income students. We work hard to get in and I think we all should have the same opportunity."

However, there are also groups within the Asian community who support a broadening of the admissions criteria for these specialized schools. Wayne Ho of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families is one of them.

"Why should one test determine whether or not a student gets into one of these great high schools when students could have gotten a 4.0 GPA? They could be the valedictorian of their middle school. They could have been in charge of a lot of student groups. They could work many hours, or they could do a lot of community service. But none of that means anything if they happen to do poorly on one test that they take on a weekend," Wayne Ho said.

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