“Boston Overhauls Admissions to Exclusive Exam Schools” (New York Times, July 15):
After five and a half hours of emotional discussion on Wednesday night, the Boston School Committee voted unanimously to overhaul admissions to the city’s three selective exam schools, opening the way for far greater representation of Black and Latino students.
The new admissions system will still weigh test results and grades, but, following a model pioneered in Chicago, it will also introduce ways to select applicants who come from poor and disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Under the new system, the applicant pool will be divided into eight groups based on the socioeconomic conditions of their neighborhoods. The admissions team will consider applicants within each group, admitting the top students in each tier in roughly equal numbers.
The Groupthink aspect is interesting. The high quality schools had been operating for 100+ years in a particular way. Not a single committee member thought that continuing with the proven system made sense!
What kind of high-scoring young learner is this new policy designed to exclude?
Asian American students were 29.3 percent of Boston Latin School’s enrollment in 2020, despite making up 9 percent of students in the school’s district.
On the one hand, this might seem odd. Leaders who bravely place #StopAsianHate signs on their lawns and/or bravely tweet using the #StopAsianHate tag are trying to exclude Asians from elite schools. But perhaps there is no inconsistency. Suppose that the sign-gooder believes that the reason Asians are hated is because Asians are more successful than comparatively stupid and lazy white people. In that case, it would make sense for him/her/zir/them to place obstacles in Asians’ paths so that they can’t succeed as much. If Asians can’t get into the elite schools they won’t provoke as much envy and therefore the mission of #StopAsianHate will have been accomplished.
- Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (Harvard excludes Asians with the blessing of the Federal court system)