High hopes in education: A community conversation in Brooklyn

Amadi Ajamu | 4/11/2019, 11:05 a.m.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio charged Friday that the city’s specialized high schools practice “massive segregation” as the controversy grows ...
Education

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio charged Friday that the city’s specialized high schools practice “massive segregation” as the controversy grows over admissions criteria to the elite institutions. “That’s why we’re doing something bold here, and we’re saying we’re not going to live by this old system that has perpetuated massive segregation—not just segregation, massive segregation,” de Blasio said on WNYC radio.

Sistas’ Place Coffee House and Back to Basics radio & podcast hosted by journalist/activist Nayaba Arinde will hold a community conversation focusing on “High Hopes in Education and Access to Specialized High Schools in NYC.” The forum will be held Saturday, April 13, at 3 p.m. at Sistas’ Place, 456 Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn.

The renewed debate has centered on overhauling elitist admissions at the city’s eight specialized high schools (Stuyvesant HS, Bronx HS of Science, Brooklyn Technical HS, Queens HS for the Sciences, Brooklyn Latin School, HS of Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College, Staten Island Technical HS, HS of American Studies at Lehman College), which recently gave just 10 percent of its admissions offers to Black and Hispanic students. In one of the most striking data points, just seven of 895 offers at Stuyvesant High School, considered one of the most prestigious, went to Black students.

“We are having a really good and honest conversation in New York City about structural racism, about the history that has led to segregation in so many aspects of our society,” de Blasio continued.

In the latest competition, Asian applicants won 51.7 percent of the spots to the specialized schools, whites 28.5 percent, Hispanics 6.6 percent and Blacks 4 percent.

Community leaders are demanding an end to the single test that can make or break admission to these specialized high schools. They prefer a comprehensive analysis which would include academic standing in education as well as the intermittent testing held during the school year.

The “High Hopes” community conversation will include educators, academics, politicians, and activists on the panel and in the audience at the community forum to discuss these burgeoning issues surrounding public school education.

Invited guests include former principal and educator NYC Councilwoman Inez Barron; NYS Assemblyman Charles Barron; December 12th Movement /Human Rights Activist Omowale Clay; and many others.

“We invite the public to come by and have a conversation, voice their concerns and solutions, and let us be informed and empowered as we move forward with the greatest education for our children,” said Clay.

For more information, contact Sistas’ Place/December 12th Movement  at 718-398-1766 or cell 917-495-6979.