Meng Statement on Mayor's Plan to Change Admissions Process for New York City's Specialized High Schools

Jun 6, 2018
Press Release

QUEENS, NY – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) today issued the following statement on the mayor’s plan to change the admissions process for New York City’s specialized high schools.

“The Assembly Education Committee’s vote that advances the mayor’s plan is disappointing.

As the graduate of a New York City specialized high school (Stuyvesant High School), I was disappointed by the drastic changes the mayor proposed to specialized high school admissions. 

Far too many of our City’s elementary and middle school students are being left behind. As the mother of two young children who attend New York City public schools, I have witnessed these problems firsthand. The mayor’s decision to distract from the harsh realities of the New York City school system by proposing these changes is not only wrong, it is shortsighted.

As an elected official, I am also disappointed that the mayor and chancellor failed to convene a meeting of all relevant stakeholders, including the City’s AAPI elected officials, before they unveiled a proposal that seeks to dismantle how the City’s most successful high schools operate. To exclude impacted communities from such discussions, or to pit them against one another, is not leadership.  

I also take issue with reported comments made by the chancellor about one ethnic group owning admission to specialized high schools. I am insulted, and these comments are false. Asian Americans aren’t trying to own admission to these schools.

I agree with the mayor that diversity at the City’s specialized high schools needs to improve. But community leaders and elected officials from ALL backgrounds must have their voices heard. I call on the mayor and the chancellor to engage the AAPI community in any future effort to overhaul specialized high school admissions processes, and I call on the Assembly to do what is right and block A. 10427a from passage. Keeping the AAPI community completely left out of the discussion is disrespectful and wrong.  

The mayor could have chosen to pursue the creation of additional specialized high schools to meet demand, he could have requested more resources from Albany for every single New York City elementary, middle, and high school, or he could have chosen to address the broader systemic segregation in our City. Instead of focusing on comprehensive reform in one effort, the mayor’s legislative push concerning how eight well-performing schools operate isn’t a serious policy proposal; it’s a headline.”