Officials hold emergency meeting over specialized admissions test debate

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Marcus Solis reports on an emergency meeting as the debate to eliminate admissions tests to get into New York City's elite public high schools continues to heat up.

Brooklyn officials held an emergency meeting Saturday as the debate to eliminate admissions tests to get into the city's elite public high schools continues to heat up.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in early June he will push to diversify the city's elite specialized high schools by setting aside seats for low-income students who just missed the test score cutoff.

In doing so, he plans to eliminate SHSAT, the admissions test for these specialized schools. He believes too much focus is on test prep, something that kids from economically depressed areas cannot afford.

"We have to accept the fact that one percent of Stuyvesant High School is black and three percent Latino," de Blasio said Friday.

Most of the students in these eight elite high schools, including Stuyvesant and the Bronx High School of Science, are Asian American, and many are calling the city's plan anti-Asian.

Hundreds of parents and students marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall on Friday to protest.

"Asian Americans have to score 140 points higher on the SAT than whites, 240 points higher than Hispanics and 450 points higher than blacks," said Don Lee, a community activist.

The mayor maintains that this is an issue of representation, but Caroline Magoc, a Stuyvesant High School student, said this proposal is an "easy way out" for politicians.

"Instead of improving middle schools across the board in underrepresented neighborhoods where they're scoring lower than threes and fours -- You need to take action there before you can change the SHSAT," she said.

Saturday's meeting took place in Bath Beach at 11 a.m. Brooklyn Assemblymember William Colton and a district leader heard from parents and said they are trying to come up with an alternative.

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educationeducationhigh schooltestsschool testingprotestnew york city schoolsLower ManhattanNew York CityManhattan
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