Indian Diaspora Council

IDC Supports More Specialized High School Seats in New York City

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) endorses more specialized high school seats in New York City by participating in a community rally held on June 24, 2018 at the steps of Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens, New York. The rally brought together several community organizations and advocates in support of the keeping Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and creating more specialized high school seats in New York City. The rally was organized by the Diversity and Achievement (DNA) Coalition, spearheaded by John Albert of “Taking Our Seat”. Contact:

Statement by the Diversity and Achievement (DNA) Coalition:
“The most straightforward solution: create more schools that have a rigorous curriculum that all children have the opportunity to access. We can all agree that the school system is leaving many kids behind. Talented kids of all backgrounds should have access to a top-notch education”.

“Queens Stands to Lose the Most under NYC Mayor’s Plan:
Phase 1 of the Mayor’s plan will set aside extra help for admission to those students who come from schools with high rates of poverty. Queens neighborhoods are on average richer than Brooklyn, Bronx and Manhattan neighborhoods. but not by much. That means Queens kids won’t compete on a level ground in Phase 1 of the Mayor’s Plan. The solution: more seats”.
Phase 2 of NYC Mayor’s plan eliminates the SHSAT altogether and sets aside seats to the “top” students in each middle school. Fewer Queens students will earn entry into these schools, those few who are eligible will be forced to travel long distances. There are fewer specialized high school seats in Queens than in the other boroughs (except for Staten Island). The solution: more seats – in Queens”

The program was moderated by Miguel Herrera. Speakers included: NYS Assemblyman Ron Kim; NYS Assemblyman David Weprin; David Lee (Chinese American Citizens Alliance); Tahseen Chowdhry (Stuyvesant HS graduate); Wah Wah Chin (Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York); Mazeda Uddin (SAFE); Kenneth Chiu (Coalition of Asian American Civil Rights); Ashook Ramsaran (Indian Diaspora Council International); Rokeya Akhter (New American Voter Association); Darrell Sukdeo (Indo-Caribbean Advocate); several other community advocates. and students of SUNY and other schools.

Remarks by Ashook Ramsaran, President of Indian Diaspora Council International: “New York City is the greatest city with most opportunities in education. There are opportunities for excellence in education which go hand-in-hand with excellence in education. The goal is to encourage and reward excellence in education, not to discourage high achievers. More specialized schools are better for encouraging more students to achieve higher levels of performance. Everyone benefits because all students strive for higher achievements. All parents in Queens and all of New York City should be more involved. Our kid’s education matters. Our voices are important in this struggle for progress in education by being partners for excellence in education. IDC supports more seats in specialized schools and keeping the SHSAT tests”.

Photos - community rally held on June 24, 2018

(l-r) Miguel Herrera, Phil Wong, John Albert, Ashook Ramsaran, Wah Wah Chin