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Specialized admissions

New York Teacher

The gross underrepresentation of the black and Hispanic students in the elite high schools is the direct result of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s utter failure to provide equal opportunity for success for all students, regardless of race or culture, from the time they enter school in pre-K to the time they leave school after the 8th grade. Shame on the mayor for trying to use the entrance test as a scapegoat to cover up his dismal lack of leadership. 

Melvin Band, retired

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It troubled me when I read about the union’s support for a change in admission requirements for New York City’s most prestigious high schools [“Diversity plan for specialized high schools,” July 5]. 

During my 50-plus years in education I have witnessed the fruits of diversification, done at all costs, firsthand and the outcomes have not been pretty. I was there when difficult teacher licensing exams were practically wiped out for diversification. I was there when competitive supervisory exams and appointments were eliminated for diversification; I was there when academic requirements for acceptance at CUNY schools were essentially ended for diversification. I could go on with many more examples. In each case, we were informed that rigorous standards would be maintained. 

Leaders can claim that standards will be maintained, but it is a virtual certainty that those elite schools will go the way of everything that has been established primarily for diversity while ignoring ability, competition and merit. You can pedal the illusion of academic excellence just so far, and then reality sets in. 

Bernard A. Bilawsky, retired

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