STATEN ISLAND TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL – Only one black (0.3%) and 11 latino/hispanic (3.6%) students received an offer for admission to the fall 2019 freshman class at Staten Island Technical High School out of 304 selected students, according to numbers from the city’s Department of Education (DOE).
For 2018 fall admissions, only two black students and five Hispanic students received an offer for admission to Tech.
“I share the excitement of students and families receiving high school offers today,” said city Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. “I cannot wait to see our students take the next step in their education and continue on the path to success. We’re also once again confronted by an unacceptable status quo at our specialized high schools. We need to eliminate the single test for specialized high school admissions now.”
Many parents question whether the test are graded fairly, and if there are potential manipulation in the grading process. For the third year in a row, the number of Asian students offered admission to Tech exceeded offers made to white students. Out of the 304 students, a total of 143 Asian students received offers to the freshman class, while 119 white students were accepted.
There were about 27,500 students across the city who competed for seats at the city’s specialized high schools this year. Citywide, 5,830 students received offers.
Out of those offers, only 4 percent went to black students, and 6.6 percent went to Hispanic students. Asian students got 51.1 percent of offers, and 28.5 percent went to white students.
Specialized high schools are selective public schools that offer an advanced or focused curriculum based on students’ results on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test.
As in previous years, students will receive offers to the Discovery Program later in the spring — which means the number of students accepted into specialized high schools could increase. The program — which was expanded this year — aims to increase diversity by offering admission to high-need students who score just below the entrance exam score cutoff if they complete a summer program.
According to the DOE, there are fewer total offers to the specialized high schools this year because the agency plans to make about 500 offers through the Discovery Program.
The city’s specialized high schools have faced recent backlash after admissions offers to black and Hispanic students remained low last year. Some schools, like Staten Island Technical High School, have developed outreach programs to underrepresented middle schools.
High school admissions offers were delayed this year, forcing anxious students to wait until Monday before finding out if they were accepted into the school of their choice.
Offer letters typically go out within the first two weeks of March, but the DOE stated the offers were delayed due to a lawsuit challenging the agency’s and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to increase diversity in the city’s specialized high schools.
The city announced last year the expansion of its Discovery Program, which aims to have 20 percent of seats at each specialized high school reserved for students in the program by 2020.
That two-year expansion, which would allow more students in the program to be accepted into specialized high schools, went into effect for the 2019-2020 school year, according to the DOE.
The admissions delays occurred after some parents and community organizations filed suit to halt the changes in the admissions process.
Despite the lawsuit, a judge ruled last month that the city could move forward with the changes.