42% White Students Get Extra Time for New York’s Elite High School Entrance Exam, Investigation Reveals

2 years ago



An investigation by the New York Times has revealed that a number of students have been given the privilege of doubling the time needed to take the exam. As told by the news outlet, "there appears to be a racial disparity in who is receiving this special accommodation, which is covered under a federal designation known as a 504." Turns out, white students in NYC "are 10 times as likely as Asian students to have a 504 designation that allows extra time on the specialized high school entrance exams." Compared to their black and Hispanic counterparts, white students are also twice as likely to have the designation. And we don't mention the students in poverty who are "less likely to have a 504 for extra time." The Typical Student team learned the details. 


Equal Opportunities for Everyone?



Credit: New York Times


According to the New York Times, students getting the extra-time provision "are about twice as likely to receive offers from specialized high schools."

  • The statistical data provided by the school district shows in 2018, that out of 3,300 students at Stuyvesant High School there were only 24 black students. Stuyvesant is known to be one of the most selective of the specialized schools.  
  • In comparison with the total number of test-takers, the number of students with the extra-time allowance is 323 students out of over 27,000 students. 
  • Taking the statistic one step further, it turns out there's a racial disparity among students: white students make up a little less than 25% of the elite schools. The share of white students is 15% within the public school system, but "have not played a large role in that clash." 

The New York Times' investigation has discovered that many students receiving extra time on the specialized high school exam are enrolled in some of the NY's most prestigious public middle schools. According to the findings, New York’s mostly white private schools don't take part in the 504 program. Still, they are providing extra exam time for students with learning issues.


10 New York schools with the highest rates of students taking entrance exams using a 504, 2016-18


Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy 1 Charter School 34 7 20.6%
Abraham Joshua Heschel School 43 6 14.0%
Icahn Charter School 82 10


St. Saviour Elementary School 63 8


Paula Hedbavny School 73 8


The Speyer Legacy School 60 6


The School at Columbia University 115 10


Brooklyn School of Inquiry 138 11


Middle School 243, the Center School 128 10


Hellenic Classical Charter School 120 9




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