Mayor Bill de Blasio

Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa US

Asian-American families sue de Blasio over plan to diversify elite schools

December 14, 2018 - 1:48 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Parents of students at New York City’s elite public schools have filed a federal lawsuit against Mayor Bill de Blasio over what they say is a discriminatory plan to diversify the city’s specialized high schools.

Yi Fang Chen fears her two kids dreams are dashed just because they’re Asian Americans.

Chen says the mayor’s attempts to diversify eight highly competitive schools by changing the rules to the city’s Discovery Program is racial discrimination in disguise.

“Creating opportunity for some to the detriment of others is unfair and wrong,” Chen, who is a parent plaintiff in the lawsuit, said.

Attorney Joshua Thompson filed the federal lawsuit.

“We are going to fight back against the deliberate, obvious and unconstitutional discrimination being perpetuated against the Asian-American families of New York,” Thompson said.

Mayor de Blasio’s plan would reserve 20 percent of the seats at specialized high schools for students from high poverty schools who just failed to make the cut.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 40 percent of students offered seats at the elite schools are low-income, compared with 75 percent of the high school population citywide.

Only 9 percent of black and Hispanic students were offered seats at the schools this past year, and de Blasio says the exams are unfair to those students. He wants to scrap the exams but isn’t expected to find support in Albany.

The Chinese American Citizens Alliance, which is a plaintiff, says opportunities should be made available to all but not at the expense of others.

Meanwhile, a Department of Education spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the mayor’s plan will expand opportunities for entering the elite schools.

“Our schools are academically stronger when they reflect the diversity of our city,” the spokesman said.