Apparently there has been significant turmoil at my old high school: the NY Times is reporting on the third principal to resign in five years
, against a background of questions of race and/or socioeconomic discrimination.
Apparently they don't, these days, have a valedictorian. Instead, students are invited to submit speeches to be read at graduation, and the faculty pick one. This year, they picked Justin Hudson, one of the few black students, who talked about the fact that there are so few black or Hispanic students, and so few students from poor neighborhoods. Being the New York Times
, they don't actually say "class," much less "institutional racism," but they do quote Hudson on the subject of discrimination in admissions:
“If you truly believe that the demographics of Hunter represent the distribution of intelligence in this city,” he said, “then you must believe that the Upper West Side, Bayside and Flushing are intrinsically more intelligent than the South Bronx, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Washington Heights. And I refuse to accept that.”
As far as I can tell, the main change in demographics from my day is that there are now about as many Asian-American as white students.
According to this story, the high school faculty were much more supportive of Hudson than the Hunter College president; stress between the college and the high school is at least a factor in the turnover in the principal's office.
[Expository lump: Hunter is a selective talented and gifted school, grades 7-12, admission only at the beginning of seventh grade. It gives its own admissions test. Many students get tutoring for the test. This surprised me. My mother says that yes, some people were doing that in my day, but she thought it wouldn't be fair to arrange that for her children. She also didn't think we needed it, which may have been maternal pride but proved correct.
Hunter is part of the City University of New York, under the auspices of Hunter College; at least in my day, it was in theory, among other things, a place for college students to get teaching practice. We were hard on student teachers, but I suspect so are most high school students.]
(I'm posting this largely for myself and for the fellow-Hunterites reading this journal who may not have seen this. My mother, a former president of the alumnae/i association*, wasn't aware of any of it until my brother sent her the link.)