Alan Singer has written an interesting commentary on the testing regime used to admit students to New York City’s most selective high schools.

Admission is based on one test and one test only. The test is designed by–who else–Pearson.

Many successful students sign up for expensive tutoring courses. So, like SAT prep, the scores reflect ability to pay for tutoring as much as they do “merit.”

Mayor Bloomberg defends the process, saying it was created to identify “the best and brightest” and it will not change.

Very small numbers of black and Hispanic students are able to gain admission to the celebrated exam schools. At Stuyvesant High School, only 19 black students were admitted into an entering class of nearly 1,000.