“Diversity” is one of those words that has a completely different meaning in the New York Times than anything you thought it might mean. If you don’t believe me, you will be entertained by considering an article by Elizabeth Harris that appeared on Friday March 6, headlined “Lack of Diversity Persists in Admissions to Elite City Schools.”
As background for those unfamiliar with our system, New York City has eight elite specialized high schools, the most famous being Stuyvesant (in Manhattan), Bronx Science and Brooklyn Technical. Admission to these schools is by a test given each year to eighth graders. Because the result is strictly determined by a test, there is no opportunity for behind-the-scenes maneuvering and racial gerrymandering as we find, for example, in admissions to most elite state universities around the country. Somewhat remarkably, in this competition the chips just fall where they may. The results of this year’s test just came out, and 5,103 students (of a total of about 70,000+ eighth graders) were offered spots in the eight elite schools.