White enrollment has also fallen while Asian enrollment has ballooned. Among the most drastic shifts: Brooklyn Technical High School’s black population dropped to 6 percent in 2016 from 51 percent in 1982.
The city has designated five additional test-in specialized high schools since 2002, bringing the total to eight, in an attempt to integrate the elite schools. But even those schools have seen a decline in black and Hispanic enrollment over the last decade, which undercuts the idea that simply adding more elite schools will shift demographics. Black and Hispanic students currently represent 70 percent of the school system, but make up just 10 percent of the enrollment in the specialized schools.
For years, most who took the admissions test had little to no preparation. Today, test prep is a rapidly expanding local industry. At the same time, many accelerated academic programs in mostly black and Hispanic neighborhoods have closed as Asian immigrants have embraced the specialized high schools as tickets out of poverty.
And in a school system that remains severely racially segregated, many black and Hispanic students have been left in struggling middle schools that sometimes do not even notify them that the elite schools exist.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to scrap the decades-old admissions test has sparked an intense backlash and a renewed fight over how to integrate the city’s deeply divided school system.
The mayor’s proposal would replace the exam — currently the sole means of gaining admission to the schools — with a system that offers seats to the top-performing students from every city middle school. If his plan is approved by the State Legislature — an increasingly dim possibility — the specialized schools would be nearly 50 percent black and Hispanic, and Asian students would lose about half their seats.
That would be a significant blow to the Asian students, most of them poor, who have replaced white students as a majority in the specialized schools. From 1970 to 2011, the number of Asia-born immigrants living in New York City increased about eightfold to 843,000 from 105,000. The Asian population of the specialized schools includes Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants.
Though immigration from Latin America and Africa has also increased significantly in the same period, that influx is not reflected in the specialized schools’ makeup. By 2011, New York was home to about 984,000 first-generation immigrants from Latin America and roughly 128,000 immigrants who were born in Africa.
Today, it is almost unheard-of for a current student to not have prepared for the test — often at one of the prep centers whose presence in New York City has doubled in the past decade, to 436 in 2017. At Kaplan, a top prep chain, the most basic offering for the specialized school exam is eight group prep sessions for $1,000.
The centers have cropped up to prep students for the SAT, the specialized school test and other high-stakes exams. Some even offer summer classes.
Overall increases in tuition and state universities accepting more out-of-state and foreign students who pay higher tuition has led to decline in low-income students in top public colleges.[i] The problem is caused by state spending on higher education that decreased by 18% since 2008, according to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities. The College Access Index keeps track of student income; it found that the average percentage of first year students who received Pell grants, indicating they come from the bottom half of family income, fell from 24% in 2012 to 22% in 2016. Some colleges also cope by accepting more students, leading to crowding.
[i] David Leonhardt, “The Assault on Colleges—and the American Dream,” New York Times, May 25, 2017.
Your Mindful Guide to Academic Success: Beat Burnout
Gayle Kimball, Ph.D. ISBN 978-0-938795-52-0
The nine chapters provide information for high school and college students about how to achieve academic goals and reduce stress:
How to identify your learning styles
Techniques to achieve your goals
Study skills and effective test taking
How to write research papers
Understand mind power
Clearing emotional blocks to success
Student activism and goals internationally
Student experiences are featured, along with a variety of experts, and they created the illustrations.
Traveling around the world, interviewing young people for my series of books about global youth viewpoints and activism, I heard how much time, worry and anxiety goes into studying for tests. I have a lot of experience studying and test-taking to earn my bachelor’s degree, teaching credential, two Masters Degrees, and Ph.D.—all from the University of California. I’ve corrected thousands of student essays teaching in high school and then in university for decades. I want to share with students what I’ve learned about how to succeed academically, stay centered and have time to enjoy life. I include the advice and experience of young people from various countries to discover how they succeed and to provide insight into the global youth culture in an increasingly globalized world. As a Pakistani young man said in this book, “It lets the students know that their worries/guilt are uniform and students from other regions are facing the same problems.” Although it’s rare, I advocate that the voices of actual young people should be included in books about and for them
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 How to Achieve Your Goals with Metacognition
Understanding Your Learning Styles
Making Your Brain Work for You
Coping with Learning Disabilities
Identifying Your Personality Types
Chapter 2 Study Skills
Reading, Note Taking, Memorizing, Study Groups
Test Taking Skills suggestions by Dr. Stephen Tchudi
Effective Oral Reports
Overcoming Math Anxiety
Time Management vs. Procrastination
Chapter 3 How to do Research by Morgan Brynnan, MLIS
Is it all CRAAP – Evaluating Sources
Plagiarism, Ethics and Citation
Chapter 4 Coping with Stress
The Physiology and Causes of Stress
How to Cope with Stress
Balance the Left and Right Sides of the Body
Chapter 5 Understand Mind Power
Research on Mind Over Matter
How to Clear Emotional Blocks
Chapter 6 Emotional Issues that influence School Success
The Power of the Unconscious Mind
Being a Student of Color in a PWI
Anxiety and Depression
Chapter 7 Physical Vitality
Chapter 8 Getting into College, Career Planning
Getting Into College
Adjusting to College
Post-College Career Planning
Chapter 9 Student Activism in the US and International Education Reform
What Students Want from their Education
The Finish Model
Student Educational Activism
Youth Activism in the US