Meisha Ross Porter, the new chancellor for New York City public schools, is calling out the city’s elite schools for their lack of Black and Latino students.
NYC’s elite public schools only consist of 9.4% Black and Hispanic students, despite 70% of NYC’s students being Black and Hispanic. Stuyvesant High School, one of the cities most prestigious, only sent acceptance offers to eight Black students out of the 749 students the school accepted.
As The New York Times reported in February, Meisha Ross Porter is the first Black woman to head the country’s largest public school system. She is tasked with getting the city’s one million students back to school after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the city to shut down.
Chancellor Porter also called for an end to elite public high school admission tests.
“I know from my 21 years as an educator that far more students could thrive in our Specialized High Schools, if only given the chance,” Porter said, adding that the exams were unacceptable.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D- New York) said that he was “overjoyed” by Porter’s appointment as chancellor. He was excited to see Porter tackle the important issues affecting people of color in the city.
“I’m just excited about her tackling issues like the school-to-prison pipeline and bringing more of a focus on restorative justice into our schools, bringing more social workers and counselors than cops into our schools, our schools being much more culturally responsive and anti-racist,” he said.
Porter, who took over the job in March, seems up to the task. She was previously the executive superintendent of the Bronx public school system. The Bronx had the highest graduation rate-gain of any other borough with an increase of 5.7 percent. The citywide increase was only 2.8 percent. Porter tweeted that she was honored to be chosen for the position.
“I’ve dedicated my life to @NYCschools, and cannot imagine a greater honor than the opportunity to lead as Chancellor. @NYCmayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza have laid an incredible foundation. I am ready to hit the ground running and lead our schools to a full recovery.
— Meisha Porter (@MeishaPorter) February 26, 2021