June 7, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial plan to eliminate the admissions test currently required for specialized high schools passed the Assembly Education Committee yesterday, with a vote in the affirmative from its chair, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan.
The proposal moved out of the education committee yesterday into the rules committee with 16 votes, the majority of which were cast in the affirmative by Democrats. All eight Republicans voted against the mayor’s plan.
Nolan reportedly said she voted in favor of the plan so that further discussion could be produced on the issue, according to the New York Post.
The Assemblywoman’s office did not return a request for further comment on her vote by press time.
While the bill passed the committee only yesterday, State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said today that the bill would not be voted on this session, according to NY1 News. The announcement means the bill won’t be deliberated on until next year, as the legislative session ends on June 20.
The mayor’s plan, announced along with new schools chancellor Richard Carranza last week, is meant to improve diversity at the city’s eight specialized high schools by increasing enrollment of black and Latino students and other disadvantaged students.
The proposal would get rid of the 180-minute exam taken by eighth and ninth graders interested in enrolling into a specialized high school, and instead reserve seats for top performers at each middle school. The elimination of the specialized high school test, however, requires state legislation.
The city says its plan would see 45 percent of specialized high school offers going to black and Latino students, compared to 9 percent currently. In addition, 62 percent of offers would go to female students compared to the current trend of 44 percent.