Diversity problem at NYC's elite public high schools

- New York City's most competitive and desired high schools need a lesson in diversity. That's what the Bronx and Brooklyn's borough presidents argue as they hold their latest public hearing aimed at overhauling the way students are admitted to the city's 9 specialized gifted and talented schools.

It's a grassroots approach taken by the newly formed Gifted and Talented Education Task Force, which spent the evening hearing from parents and teachers about what they think needs to change and then taking those concerns to the Department of Education.

Despite students of color making up 70 percent of the city's public high schools, only 10 percent of the more than 6,000 students who were accepted into these coveted schools this year were black or Latino. Advocates say the more elite the school, the bigger the gap.

Stuyvesant High, which has space for some 1,000 freshmen, offered admission to only 13 black students.

In a statement, the Department of Education writes: "We're committed to providing high-quality instruction at all schools, and gifted and specialized programs are one option for students and families. There is much more work to do to ensure equity and excellence at every public school in New York City, and we look forward to partnering with the Borough Presidents on this important work."

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