HomeAsian AmericansParents Bring Lawsuit to Challenge Discrimination in High School Admissions Reform

Parents Bring Lawsuit to Challenge Discrimination in High School Admissions Reform

Parents in Dyker Heights, an affluent neighborhood in New York City, are preparing a lawsuit to challenge specialized high school admissions reforms that allegedly discriminate against Asian American students.

The city’s Discovery program, according to The New York Times, aims to open 20 percent of admission slots to applicants who score below the cutoff line in the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). The program attempts to increase Black and Hispanic enrollment in the specialized high schools. Dyker Heights parents leading the lawsuit, however, see this program as an attempt to decrease Asian American students’ admission.

New York Post reports that Joshua Thomspon, a lawyer for a libertarian law firm, will work with the parents to challenge the reforms.

“Discrimination against Asian Americans is becoming prevalent,” Thompson said. “This is becoming a major civil rights issue.”

Asian American alumni of specialized schools have also voiced concerns about the model minority concept. Some even wrote about their concerns in an op-ed for Crain’s New York Business. 

“The perceived success of Asian Americans, which casts us as a monolithic racial group, is used to diminish the impact of structural racism on other people of color, while masking our intra-group differences and needs,” the alumni wrote.

For the Asian American parents of Dyker Heights, however, it may be less important to avoid the model minority concept and more important to prevent schools from ignoring their children’s SHSAT scores.

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