Amid Racial Divisions, Plan to Scrap Entrance Exam for Elite NYC School Fails

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to scrap the entrance exam attracted national fanfare when it was announced, but it soon collided with stubborn realities.
June 24, 2019 AT 8:04 AM

By Eliza Shapiro and Vivian Wang

Richard A. Carranza, the city schools chancellor, insisted last week that the plan to eliminate the entrance exam that dictates admission into Stuyvesant High School and the city’s other top public high schools was gaining traction.

“There’s some real momentum,” Mr. Carranza said at the State Capitol.

Two days later, the bill died. The Legislature adjourned, having taken no action on the specialized school exam.

The contentious bill divided many of New York’s families along racial lines: Black and Hispanic students have seen their numbers at the prized schools plummet over the last two decades, while some Asian families argued that the mayor’s plan discriminated against the low-income Asian students who are now a majority at the schools.

But the extent of the proposal’s radioactivity was unusual in Albany, particularly during a session that was marked by the newly Democrat-controlled body’s willingness to take up issues that had long been considered off-limits.

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