Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

How Fair Is Boston Latin's Admissions Policy? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   Boston Latin, a selective exam school, claims to admit students with a majority of its admissions process based on a standardized test, but they set aside thirty-five percent of the student body for African Americans and Hispanic students. This hypocritical and biased admissions policy has been in place for 19 years but has not come under scrutiny until this year when Julia McLaughlin, a Caucasian female, scored well enough on the entrance examination to be admitted but was not accepted, even though she performed as well as (or better than) 149 students who did gain admission, 103 of them minorities. This prompted her father to file a lawsuit against the Boston School System in a case which has received national attention.

Why even have an exam if race takes precedence over scores? The school system reasons that the school must be racially diverse, yet Boston Latin's racial demographics would have 17 percent minorities if the quota was eliminated. This would place them in one of the highest echelons of racial diversity for exam schools in the country and would be more comparable to the racial proportions of Boston than many other cities.

Race norming debases minorities; the process suggests that they wouldn't be accepted unless they were given "special considerations," that they are inferior academically to whites and Asians, which is certainly not the case. Most of today's society shuns the discrimination of pre-Civil Rights times, yet our naivet" prevents us from comprehending that what happened decades and centuries ago continues to occur with the ironic twist of the oppressed people being the majority. People should be treated equally regardless of color, but we are contradicting ourselves by espousing this position and still advocating such programs as affirmative action where color makes a tremendous difference.

Many of the students (a majority of whom are white) accepted to Boston Latin have attended private or parochial school to get a better education, but many others can't afford the tuition of these schools. Therefore, because of financial constraints, those receiving a public school education are not exposed to the these rigorous academic standards. To create a level playing field, Boston Schools must improve so that money doesn't become necessary to be accepted at Boston Latin.

Racial quotas may have been needed 20 years ago when segregation was an issue, but that is now behind us. The antiquated policy at Boston Latin needs to be replaced because it no longer serves a purpose but instead deprives people (like Julia McLaughlin) of the education they deserve. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback