Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn, New York City

Victory in New York exam schools case

U.S. District Court Judge Dora L. Irizarry approved a stipulated settlement agreement that brings to a successful conclusion CIR’s suit challenging the use of a quota against Asians in New York City’s Specialized High School Institute. Pursuant to the settlement, the New York City Department of Education agreed to eliminate the use of race in awarding admission to the Institute — which is an enrichment program designed to help students pass demanding admission exams to elite City high schools — and pay attorneys’ fees and damages to CIR client Stanley Ng. The Stipulation requires the defendants to notify CIR of any changes to the criteria for admissions to the Institute, and the court retains jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the agreement for a period of three years.

Last November, Ng sued to end the school policy of prohibiting Asian middle school students from applying for the enrichment program on the illegal ground that there already were “too many” Asians in elite City high schools. Documents CIR obtained in pretrial discovery confirmed that, with slight variations across the ten educational regions of the city, DOE had applied explicitly racial admissions criteria for the Institute, and used these to exclude Asian and white students from the program.

Photo: “United States Courthouse – Eastern District of New York 2” by ajay_suresh licensed under CC BY 2.0.