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Asian-Americans Upset About Diversity Plan For “Fancy” NYC Schools

By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: Mark Lennihan / Associated Press

In New York City, New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio is the most visible member of leadership group that is spearheading an effort to racially diversify some of his municipality’s most elite middle and high schools.

However, there is a dominant minority group that is not having it: Asian-Americans. Currently, Asian-American children are a small percentage of the overall student population in New York City’s public school district. However, they make up a staggering 62 percent of the student population in the school district’s more prestigious secondary education institutions, such as Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science.

On the other side of the population equation for minority students, black and Latino children make up roughly 66 percent of the New York City school district’s overall student population. But these two ethnic groups combined only account for fewer than 10 percent of the student population in the elite schools of the New York City public school district, a local bureau that is responsible for educating 1 million children.

Mayor de Blasio is also not happy with the entrance test, which controls admission into New York City’s more advanced secondary schools. “[This exam is] a a roadblock to justice, progress and academic excellence,” de Blasio said, according to a recent article published by the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s not fair. It’s not inclusive. It’s not open to all,” he reportedly continued.

As previously stated, Asian-Americans are not supportive of Mayor de Blasio’s plan to make New York City’s best secondary schools more racially diverse. The Coalition of Asian-Americans for Civil Rights is one of the groups speaking out in opposition to this racial diversification plan for the best New York City public schools. “This policy causes chaos in the Asian-American community and we’re here to reject this policy,” said John Chan, according to The Chronicle.

Chan is the executive director of the Coalition of Asian-Americans for Civil Rights. He is not the only Asian-American in a high position who is vocally challenging the New York City mayor’s new plan. Ron Kim, a Queens Democrat who is an elected Assemblyman that sits on the New York State Legislature is another vocal critic of this plan, which he says pits all ethic minority students against each other.

“For many of these Asian-American families I represent, they’re mostly new American families, new immigrants who came here. They’re just following the rules that were set. For the chancellor to imply they own the admissions test, I think it’s completely uncalled for. They didn’t create this system,” Assemblyman Kim said, according to The Chronicle. Political observers suggest Mayor de Blasio is using this issue to drum up black and Latino votes for his re-election campaign.

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