Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech: some of NYC's top ranked public high schools. Each year, thousands of eighth and ninth graders ...
Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech: some of NYC's top ranked public high schools. Each year, thousands of eighth and ninth graders compete to secure coveted spots at these elite schools by taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, the SHSAT. While African American and Latino youth constitute 70 percent of the city's total public school population, at some of these high schools, they represent less than five percent. On the other hand, Asian Americans and whites form supermajorities at all three. In response to these concerns about racial imbalance, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a complaint in September 2012 with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights to challenge the admission policy's sole reliance on the SHSAT. This documentary will follow a diverse group of students trying to pass the test, as well as the issues surrounding exam schools, public education, affirmative action, and the model-minority myth.