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Diversity plan for specialized high schools

Mulgrew speaks at the press conference.Mayoral Press Office — Benjamin KanterMulgrew speaks at the press conference.

The UFT has long argued that students and teachers are more than a single test score. That is why UFT President Michael Mulgrew joined Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city elected officials on June 3 to call on state legislators to change a law that requires a single test for admission into the city’s eight specialized high schools. The mayor proposed a new system that picks students based on their middle school class rank and state test scores. Mulgrew said he supported the city’s proposal to take into account a student’s entire academic career and to expand the pool of applicants by making sure the top students from all the city’s middle schools are considered for admission. The mayor also called for reinvigorating the existing Discovery program at all eight schools for students who narrowly miss the test score cut-off, a stop-gap measure that the union also supports. Mulgrew also called for the creation of additional seats by opening new specialized high schools. “Increasing diversity in the city’s elite high schools is just one facet of a wider issue,” he said. “We need to tackle the widespread academic segregation in the city’s high schools in general — a problem within the city’s power to solve.” State lawmakers said the bill to change admission to the specialized high schools would not be taken up until the next legislative session, which begins in January 2019.

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