In NYC, Mayor Bill de Blasio looked to eliminate the entrance exam for the city’s eight elite public high schools. Why? “…to ensure that more black and Hispanic students were admitted.” Asian families strongly objected and blocked the move, Jason L. Riley reports in the WSJ.
In the upside-down thinking of affirmative-action advocates, academically rigorous schools should be more focused on achieving racial balance and less focused on maintaining high standards. Asian displays of academic excellence therefore become problematic. Asians are somehow to blame for outperforming others, and they are to be punished for the historical injustices that blacks suffered at the hands of whites. This is what happens when you try to reconcile what is irreconcilable: group preferences on the one hand and equal treatment of individuals on the other.
Mr. de Blasio and his fellow education egalitarians also conveniently ignore the ample evidence of minority academic success because it undermines their argument that the problem is the exam requirement, not poor exam preparation. But if the mayor is genuinely concerned with increasing the number of black and brown students matriculating at top high schools like Bronx Science and Stuyvesant, he ought to pay a visit to one of New York’s high-achieving public charter schools.
… Mr. de Blasio doesn’t need to overhaul admissions at high-performance schools to boost percentages of minority students. Instead, he could give successful charter schools, private schools and parochial schools more access to underprivileged students—something he has resisted out of fealty to teachers union leaders who vehemently oppose school choice.
Here’s an idea: Leave the best schools alone, and make sure the next mayor cares less about union support and more about the 47,800 children now sitting on New York’s charter school waiting list.
Read more here.