Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross-Porter called for an end to the specialized high school entrance exam Thursday while fuming about new admissions data that showed Asians dominating the controversial test once again.
Citing the minimal number of offers to black and Hispanic students, Ross-Porter called the current single-test entry format “unacceptable.”
Asians comprised 53.7 percent of those admitted, whites 27.9, Hispanics 5.4, and African Americans 3.6.
“I know from my 21 years as an educator that far more students could thrive in our Specialized High Schools, if only given the chance,” she said in a statement accompanying the results. “Instead, the continued use of the Specialized High School Admissions Test will produce the same unacceptable results over and over again, and it’s far past the time for our students to be fairly represented in these schools.”
But backers of the existing format — especially those representing Asian city groups — blasted Ross-Porter’s characterization.
“What is unacceptable is the targeting of one particular group,” said activist Wai Wah Chin. “Especially with what we see happening on the streets of this city. What is unacceptable is telling Asians that they don’t belong in these schools despite their hard work.”
Critics of the exam call it a narrow measure of student potential and argue that additional metrics should be introduced into the admissions process.
While 70 percent of all city students are black and Hispanic, they only accounted for 9.4 percent of specialized high school acceptances for next year.
Kaliris Salas-Ramirez of Community Education Council 4 said the exam should be scrapped, asserting that it promoted an outdated reliance on standardized tests to measure talent.