Mayor wants to diversify specialty high schools

Stuyvesant high school here is one of the city's eight elite high schools, where admission is based mostly on one test score. Now the mayor and chancellor want to level the playing field for low-income, high-achieving black and Latino eighth-graders.

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said the math just doesn't add up when it comes to who attends these specialized high schools. He said these schools are 10 percent black and Latino but the student body at the schools overall is 70 percent black and Latino.

Under the banner "All Kids Deserve a Chance," Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he wants 20 percent of seats at the prestigious high schools set aside for economically disadvantaged students who score just below the cutoff. He also said that admission shouldn't hinge on one high-stakes test.

New York is the most diverse city in the country, but its public school system remains one of the most segregated. Carranza said this needs to change.

Even though the city runs the Department of Education, Albany still has the final say in some matters. For this to change, the state Legislature will have to agree to do away with the exam.