We have seen the future, and it sucks.

The Bell Curve Made Visible

27th February 2012

Read it.

New York City has eight specialized high schools whose admission is based entirely on the results of an entrance exam, a meritocratic system that does not consider race or ethnicity. The top score on the exam is 800. In recent years, the cutoff for Stuyvesant has been around 560; Rudi scored 594.

Earning a spot at Stuyvesant is unquestionably a badge of honor, sort of a secret knock to an exclusive club. As high school admissions decisions are revealed across the city in the coming week, many people are concerned that it is a club that black students — and, to a similar extent, Latinos — have an increasingly hard time cracking.

Entrance based on merit? How did that happen in New York City? This is the New York Times, after all; the real miracle is that it is being written about at all.

No one claims that the disparity is caused by overt discrimination. But in a school that is devised to attract the best of the best, parents and educators alike find the demographics troubling. It has become a question of perception as to who belongs.

They don’t quite say ‘women and minorities hardest hit’, but you know they’re thinking it.

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