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Specialized High School Offers to Black, Latino Students Show Slight Uptick

The gains, however small, marked the highest level of offers made to Black and Latino students since 2013.
Brooklyn Tech, BK Reader
Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene. Photo: Supplied/Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons

Although offers to Black and Latino students for specialized high schools slightly increased for the 2024 school year, racial disparities in accessing the city's elite public schools remain, according to city data

About 4.5% of the total offers went to Black students, which was an increase from 3% from the previous year, the New York City Department of Education said on Tuesday through a press release. 

Hispanic students received 7.6% of the offers, up from 6.7% last year, according to the DOE data. 

These increases, however, marked the highest level of offers to both Black and Hispanic students since 2013, the department said. 

Meanwhile, Asian American students received more than 50% of the offers, while 26% went to white students. 

Admission to the eight specialized high schools depends solely on the score a student gets on the SHSAT, or the Specialized High School Admissions Test. (Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts is considered a specialized highs school but it does not use the SHSAT in its admissions process, it is audition-based.)

The DOE said over 25,000 students took the SHSAT in eighth grade. 

In addition, the department said about 800 students were approved to attend the Discovery program, which provides opportunities for certain disadvantaged students who scored within a certain range on SHSAT to attend a summer program that helps them achieve mastery in certain subjects, who are then placed in a specialized high school.  

The two specialized high schools in Brooklyn are the Brooklyn Latin School and Brooklyn Technical High School.