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Diversity is key at specialized high schools

on Behalf of Black | , M.S. | , Latino Alumni of Big Three | , Lorita Watson | 2/2/2012, 1:04 p.m.

In these times, when many New York City public high schools are graduating students who require remediation upon entering college, specialized high school graduates are primed for the most competitive colleges in the world.

While we have an affinity for our respective alma maters, our primary focus is advocating for all New York City's children to gain access to the best educational opportunities possible. We currently have several initiatives underway and invite you to join our call to action.

Our specific goals include:

1. Increasing the number of Black and Latino students passing the SHSAT and being admitted to New York City's specialized high schools.

2. Raising New York City Department of Education elementary and middle school standards in all of our communities, such that more Black and Latino children are exposed to higher-level math, reading and critical thinking skills.

3. Outreach initiatives to inform families earlier about the specialized high schools opportunity, sso more Black and Latino students are prepared and take the SHSAT.

4. Provide scalable test prep for the SHSAT.

Simply, most of these students are not exposed soon enough to the rigorous curriculum required to meet the challenges of the test or the four years of high school.

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer"-Albert Einstein

Given the opportunity, these students can share in the rigorous academic legacy that is the Big Three and eventually serve as industry, community, national and international leaders. In this fast and ever-changing, shrinking world, we need diverse leadership that is perceptive, productive and well-educated.

Sincerely,

Lorita Watson, MS, on behalf of Black and Latino Alumni of the Big Three-Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Technical High School and Stuyvesant High School