Lawmakers Plan Forums on Diversity Fix at New York City’s Specialized Schools

Originally published in The Wall Street Journal

Saying Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to diversify New York City’s specialized high schools was going nowhere, four Democratic state senators announced plans Thursday to host community forums this spring to hear public input on the admissions system.

Queens Sen. John Liu, who chairs the chamber’s New York City Education Committee, said there could be a dozen or more forums, with at least one in every borough. But he declined to specify a deadline—or even a calendar year—for crafting or passing legislation that might change the admissions system at eight sought-after schools that determine entry by a single exam.

Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, whose district includes Brooklyn Tech and some of the lowest-performing schools in the city, said she hoped the spring forums would include a broader discussion of how to help more schools succeed academically and develop a stronger pipeline of talent.

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