The Slatest

New York’s Most Elite High School Admits Just Seven Black Students in a Class of 900

The outside of a building in New York City with a sign declaring it to be Stuyvesant High School.
Stuyvesant High School in 2005 in New York City.
Peter Kramer/Getty Images

New data released by New York City on Monday revealed that the city’s most elite public high schools admitted just a tiny number of black and Hispanic students, according the New York Times.

The numbers are stark: New York’s top school, Stuyvesant High School, admitted just seven black students for a freshman class of 895. That is down from 10 last year and 13 the year before.

The Bronx High School of Science had similarly dismal numbers: 12 offers for black students out of a class of 803.

According to the Times, Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed eliminating the high-stakes entrance exam for admission to the high schools and finding an alternative merit-based method of doing admissions. The proposal has been met with pushback from state legislators and Asian American groups, as a population of mostly low-income Asian students make up the majority of these schools’ student bodies.

The city had made efforts to improve diversity at the schools by offering admissions to students from disadvantaged families who score just below the exam cutoff. The schools also began administering the exam on campus during school days, instead of on the weekend at central locations. This effort, it turned out, benefited mostly white and Asian students, according to Chalkbeat.

Black and Hispanic students make up nearly 70 percent of the city’s public school system, which has roughly 600 schools. Only about 10 percent of the students at any of the eight specialized schools were black or Hispanic. That statistic remained virtually unchanged from previous years.

The issue of segregation in the city’s schools extends far beyond its eight most elite: A 2014 UCLA report concluded that New York state had the most segregated schools in the country. A school diversity panel, commissioned by the mayor, concluded this year that the city had done little since then to reflect New York’s larger diversity and that, across the city, schools remained deeply segregated.