About 1,000 protesters gathered outside City Hall on Sunday to oppose Mayor de Blasio’s plan to diversify the city’s elite high schools by scrapping the admission test.
The predominantly Asian crowd held professionally printed signs with sayings that included “THE TEST IS NOT THE PROBLEM”and “SUPPORT DIVERSITY, FAIRNESS AND MERIT.”
One man also held a homemade placard bearing images of de Blasio and schools Chancellor Richard Carranaza, along with the hand-written words “DUMB & DUMBER!!”
City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) told the group that de Blasio was trying to “politicize education,” which he said “has no color.”
Koo also blasted the Department of Education for graduating some kids from high school who “can’t do multiplication, can’t spell.”
“We want to tell the mayor that he has to do a basic thing — take responsibility!” he fumed.
“Mr. Mayor, take your responsibility! Take your responsibility!”
Rally organizer John Chan, president of the Coalition of Asian-Americans for Civil Rights, called de Blasio’s proposal “an insult to immigrant communities” and “our kids who work hard.”
Asian-American kids make up the bulk of the students in the city’s eight “specialized” high schools, where admission is based on scores from a single test with 57 questions each on math and English.
De Blasio wants to phase out the state-mandated test over three years and instead fill the schools with the top 7 percent of seventh-graders from each of the city’s middle schools.
The proposal requires a change in state law, and the Assembly’s Education Committee last week narrowly passed enabling legislation.
Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx) — who graduated from Brooklyn Tech, one of the schools in question — later said there wouldn’t be any further action on the bill before the legislature recesses for the summer on June 20.
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