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The Markup And THE CITY Collaborate On New Report Exposing Racial Disparities In Nyc Public Schools’ Admissions Screening Process

New numbers show how many students are locked out by the system

NEW YORK, NY - THE CITY (www.thecity.nyc), an award-winning, nonprofit digital news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York, published today, in collaboration with The Markup, a new report uncovering racial disparities in the New York City Department of Education’s admissions screening process.

While most media attention has focused on racial disparities in the city’s handful of “specialized” high schools, new admission data obtained by The Markup and THE CITY shows how Black and Latino students are regularly screened out of high schools across New York City — most strikingly, at the city’s top-performing schools. White and Asian students were admitted at almost twice the rate as their Black and Latino peers.

“NYC’s School Algorithms Cement Segregation. This Data Shows How” includes the story of Hajar Bouchour, a student at Park Slope Collegiate, which shares the same building with Millennium Brooklyn High School. Bouchour, who is North African Arab, applied to the higher-rated Millennium school, but was denied admission without reason.

Although Park Slope, whose student population is 10% white, has “good” ratings, Millennium, where white students make up 46% of the student population, is rated “excellent” in almost every metric set by the city.

“I saw that they [Millennium] had a lot of AP classes, and they had photography class, and all this stuff. I was like, Whoa, whoa, whoa! That would be so cool,” Bouchour said. “And then I was like, Oh, wait, but we don’t have that.”

School screening has become a part of segregation in the city that goes well beyond education, said Johanna Miller, an attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union. “It’s the primary driver that we have to grapple with as a city,” she said. “In our opinion, it’s also the most clearly wrong policy choice that the city has made.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Of the 27 best-performing screened schools in the city, white and Asian students were admitted at almost double the rates of Black and Latino students.
  • While 4.4 percent of Black students and 4.9 percent of Latino students who applied to these schools were accepted, 9.2 percent of white students and 8.6 percent of Asian students who applied were offered a spot.

For more on the story, click here.

ABOUT THE CITY: THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York. Our reporters pound the pavement in all five boroughs, working with New Yorkers to tell their stories and make their lives better. We’re here to listen to New Yorkers, dig into their concerns and deliver stories that drive the public conversation and set the agenda on key issues. At a time when the media has been upended by technological, economic and political shifts, we want to reconnect people back to local news – and reconnect local news to getting action.

ABOUT THE MARKUP: The Markup is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates how powerful institutions are using technology to change our society. We are a new kind of media organization, staffed with an unparalleled roster of quantitative journalists who pursue meaningful, data-driven investigations. Whenever possible, we will publish the underlying datasets and code that we use in our investigations, as well as a detailed methodology describing the data, its provenance and the statistical techniques used in our analysis. We invite academics, journalists, policymakers, consumer activists, and community organizers to engage with our findings.

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