The first of a series of public forums organized by New York State senators to collect feedback on the city’s segregated specialized high schools takes place this week.
In what is sure to be a heated debate, parents, students, educators, and activists can let their voice be heard from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at Queens Borough Hall, which is located at 120-55 Queens Boulevard.
Elected officials including John Liu, chair of the state senate committee on New York City education, called for public meetings as debate has exploded over the tiny number of black and Hispanic students admitted to the city’s most prestigious public high schools.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has called on legislators to abolish the state law that requires a single test be used to determine admissions to the schools. His proposal has faced stiff opposition from many Asian families, whose children currently dominate specialized high schools enrollment, and has gained little political traction despite recent polling that suggests broad public support for overhauling admissions at the schools.
Liu recently called the mayor’s plan “racist” and said it has no chance of advancing this session, blaming the mayor’s failure to consult with the Asian community in drafting the proposal.
Meanwhile, the state Assembly is expected to hold hearings on the issue in May.
Thursday’s forum is sponsored by a number of state lawmakers and Queens officials. It will be followed by similar events in each of the other boroughs. To RSVP and sign up to speak, click here.