FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Chi Loek, OCA-NY President
June 8, 2018 (917) 697-2842
New York, NY - OCA New York - Asian Pacific American Advocates, questions Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC School Chancellor Richard Carranza’s proposed Bill A10427A which calls for changes to the current single-admissions test criteria to the city’s Specialized High Schools with the hope of improving fairness for all students seeking admissions and greater diversity at each of these Specialized High Schools. While we applaud the Mayor and the Chancellor for trying to make changes that diversifies the classrooms for all children, eliminating the single-test criteria in the near-term is a slap-in-the-face to the Asian American communities of this great city. Asian Americans make up nearly 16% of the public school population, many of whom are recent immigrants. They arrive in this city with hopes and dreams of educating their children so they can have a better life. Striving to gain admissions to an elite secondary school is the first-step in this process.
The data establishes that Asian Americans constituted 52% of those admitted to the 8 Specialized High Schools. Furthermore, many of these Asian American kids come from low-income families and/or are recent immigrants where English is not their first language. Yet, these students work hard, focus, and work diligently to excel to gain admissions to one of these schools. In their announcement for these proposed changes, the Mayor and Chancellor displayed racial undertones and stereotyping of Asian Americans that were deplorable. What they have done is pit one community of color with another. The Asian American community deserves a public apology from both the Mayor and the Chancellor.
“OCA-NY strongly believes in diverse schools and communities. However, what the Mayor and the Chancellor have proposed did not take into consideration the concerns of the Asian American communities. The city did not engage all communities before announcing its recently proposed changes. This is unacceptable to our community. Unless all New Yorkers, including Asian Americans, are part of the decision-making process, we cannot support A10427A or any efforts to reform the admissions process.”
Moving forward, OCA-NY invites the Mayor and the Chancellor to a community meeting with Asian Americans to discuss possible approaches to enhancing admissions fairness and diversity.