Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech: some of NYC’s top ranked public high schools. Each year, thousands of eighth and ninth graders compete to secure coveted spots at these elite schools by taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, the SHSAT. While African American and Latino youth constitute 70 percent of the city’s total public school population, at some of these high schools, they represent less than five percent. On the other hand, Asian Americans and whites form supermajorities at all three. In response to these concerns about racial imbalance, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a complaint in September 2012 with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights to challenge the admission policy’s sole reliance on the SHSAT. This documentary will follow a diverse group of students trying to pass the test, as well as the issues surrounding access to a high-quality public education, affirmative action, and the model-minority myth.
Writer, Producer and Director Curtis Chin’s first documentary feature film, TESTED, examines communities of color, stereotypes, and dwindling public resources in light of the recent NAACP LDF legal complaint.
Even as public education comes under fire, it remains one of the few tools available to help disadvantaged youth and immigrant families ascend America’s socioeconomic ladder.
Can Cultural Weekly readers help Curtis and Company reach their goal of $20,000 by Friday, October 25th? Watch this video and then head on over to their page to donate.