Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News is appalled at the steadily shrinking proportion of black and Hispanic students in the city’s elite exam high schools:

He writes:

In 1999, three years before Michael Bloomberg became mayor, black students comprised 24% of the student body at Brooklyn Tech. This year, the percentage of black students has plummeted to 10%.

Stuyvesant’s student body was nearly 13% black in 1979; it then dropped to 4.8% by 1994; this year it’s an atrocious 1.2%.

Only 1.4% of students offered admission to Stuyvesant this year (13 of 937) were Latino, even though Latinos comprise 40% of all public school eighth-graders and were 21% of students who took the specialized high school test.

Our mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who so often boasts of reducing the racial achievement gap in education, sees absolutely nothing wrong with this picture.

His first schools chancellor, Joel Klein, actually extended the same test to determine admission to five more top city high schools, with similar results.

“Stuyvesant and these other schools are as fair as fair can be,” Bloomberg said. “You pass the test, you get the highest score, you get into the school no matter what your ethnicity, no matter what your economic background is.”

The mayor would have you believe it is all about merit, which even my 13-year-old knows is nonsense.

He acts as if the giant test prep industry isn’t raking in billions of dollars precisely to offer anyone with enough cash a leg up on the rest of the city’s children.

……Asked about this, Bloomberg reacted with his typical rich man’s arrogance.

“Life isn’t always fair,” he told a City Hall reporter. “I don’t know how you would take away the right to get tutoring.”

….It’s time our school system stop glorifying the best-trained test takers and start nurturing great students.dmitted to the city’s elite examination high schools.