Three Chinese parents have filed suit against the New York City Department of Education, claiming their children were illegally excluded from a test-preparation course because of their race.
In a federal lawsuit filed Nov. 19, the three Brooklyn residents argue that their children’s exclusion from the 15-month course is illegal because of the June decision by the U.S. Supreme Court prohibiting districts from using students’ race as a key factor in assigning students to schools.
The course is designed to boost enrollment of underrepresented groups in the city’s sought-after specialized high schools by helping them prepare for the admissions test. City officials have said that any student who meets the minimum academic criteria can apply, but that preference is given to students from low-income families, and children who are black, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Native Alaskan, or Native American.
City education department spokesman Andrew Jacob said the program’s eligibility criteria are being reviewed in light of the high court’s decision, and that any changes would be announced before recruitment for the next course begins in March.
A version of this article appeared in the November 28, 2007 edition of Education Week