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Acceptance into one of the eight “specialized” high schools located in New York City is determined by one single test. If you do well on the two-and-a-half-hour multiple choice test, you get in. However, what if you don’t know any of the content that the test is based on? Does that mean you automatically get zeroed out of the eight high schools?

This is the question that the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund wanted answered. They sent in a complaint that the city was illegally screening out qualified black and Latino students based on their test scores. And this statement was supported by the fact that fewer and fewer minority children were able to qualify into these schools year after year.

One of the main reasons is that minority children live in an underprivileged area and do not receive access to the material that the test covers. Parents cannot even help their kids because the handbook is misleading by providing parents with invalid information.

Yet one has to ask: What if we were able to provide the data presented on the test to these children? Would they score the same and demand for more test help? Or would they do well on the test and get into one of the high schools? And if they do get a high score, will their parents have enough money to pay for their child’s education in the future?

Yes, I do agree that when kids do not have enough information to get a sufficient grade on a test, then it is unfair. This is especially unfair to kids that are disadvantaged.

And let’s say that when we give these kids the proper curriculum for the test, they do well (which is a positive outcome). However, once they get into the high school, are their parents going to have enough to pay for school and furthermore college? And what is going to happen if they can’t? Are we also going to have to provide money to them?