If you taught every school kid to read well, the Mayor’s efforts to change the way the city’s highly-competitive elite public high schools are populated might not have to be made. He wants more black and Hispanic kids to be in these schools. Now they’re only 10% of the mix. Only some odd, cynical people wouldn’t want it to be higher than 10%.
The way you get in these schools is to do well on a test, just one test. Asian kids do the best.
The Mayor suggests changing that. Setting aside more spots at the schools for black and Hispanic kids who do well, as in just under the grade that got the other kids in, is one idea. Another idea is to do away with the crucial test and admit the top 7% of students from each of the city’s eighth grades. That would change the mix at the eight elite (or ‘specialized’ as they’re officially called) schools in a big way. Under that plan, 45% of the elite schools would be black and Hispanic.
The plans will be discussed. Heated discussions. Alumni, parents of kids who are in the schools, parents of kids who aren’t, Asian parents who think their kids would be getting screwed.
After a life of reading about such school-and-kids issues, it came to me that if every kid knew how to read well, most of those issues would take care of themselves. Because the efforts to teach every kid to read well haven’t been made sufficiently, desperate plans like the Mayor’s are floated.