Calls for increasing diversity and inclusion at HCCS have been taking place for decades. Diversity and inclusion at HCCS means improving our school climate and integrating the diverse backgrounds within our community. This includes revising our curriculum to meet best anti-racist and anti-bias practices, diversifying content to reflect a broader range of experience and voices, and updating our admissions process to identify and admit more high-potential students who identify as Latinx, Black OR, lower-income. (To be clear, these are 3 distinct identities).

Mosaic calls for diversity are about the inclusion, integration, safety, success and education of ALL of our children, not just those who are in the minority.

The resources below include facts about our school and efforts to increase diversity and inclusion.

Mosaic stands together with our brave HCCS student leaders and we support their advocacy for a Hunter that embraces inclusion and high-achievement. You can learn more about them, HCHS4Diversity, a student-led effort to expand inclusion at HCCS. You can also check them out on Instagram.

A Call for a School that Reflects Our City

Letter to the HCCS Administration

Additional Links of Interest

Equity & Inclusion at Hunter College High School – FAQ

How does the HCHS population compare with our city population?

The 2019-2020 HCHS student body is 9% low-income, 6.2% Latinx and 2.4% Black. This does not reflect the NYC student population which is 72.8% is economically disadvantaged, 40.6% Latinx and 25.5% Black.

Are we capturing a representative group of students who could thrive at HCHS?

Of the pool of New York City 5th graders scoring high enough to qualify to take the Hunter admissions test, 47% are low-income and 27% are Black or Latinx.

How do we compare to other specialized high schools?

The current HCHS population is more skewed towards affluence. At Hunter, 9% of 7-12th graders are below the free and reduced lunch threshold. At Stuyvesant and Bronx Science the figure is 42% and at Brooklyn Tech it is 59%.

Where in the city do our students come from?

The bulk of current HCHS students are drawn from relatively few, mostly affluent neighborhoods with little representation of high-achieving students from lower income parts of the city. Census tracked data shows that our population is drawn from just 129 of NYC’s 2164 census tracts.

How does our admissions process compare to other NYC selective schools?

Other NYC schools have updated their admissions systems to promote equity:

NYC Selective Schools: Portion of High-Achieving Student Body Admitted Based on Socio-Economic Status
Middle Schools

Anderson School – 30%
Brooklyn School of Inquiry – 40%
Tag Young Scholars – 40%

High Schools

Bard High School Queens – 63%
Millennium High School Brooklyn – 50%
NYC Specialized High Schools – 20%
Hunter College High School – 0%

Are there good models for change?

Chicago Public Schools have been working for over a decade to develop a citywide model that has achieved significant diversity at their selective high schools. The Chicago model considers:

  • ⅓ state test scores, ⅓ grades, ⅓ admissions exam
  • 30% of applicants are admitted by strict academic criteria
  • 70% are admitted by academic criteria weighted with socio-economic status factors

Using this system, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School – one of the Chicago’s elite schools and Michelle Obama’s alma mater — maintains a student body that is 37% low income, 29% Hispanic and 18% Black.

How might the pandemic affect admissions?

The economic and racial divide between the neighborhoods from which HCHS draws its students mirrors the divide between communities hardest hit by the coronavirus and those less affected. NYC DOE data indicates that 292 of the students who qualified as potential applicants to Hunter’s most recent class of seventh graders live in the 10 zip codes where the coronavirus has spread most. Only three Hunter seventh graders were admitted from those zip codes.

Who can make change?

Hunter College president Jennifer Raab enjoys complete discretion to modify the HCHS admissions system. There are no legal obstacles to CUNY and Hunter exploring options for modifying the HCHS admissions system in order to address the under-representation of low-income, Black and Latinx students at our school.

How does equity and inclusion align with Hunter’s Campus mission statement?

We are publicly funded, selective admission schools for intellectually talented and gifted students. We aim to be a model for gifted education.

Our schools strive to reflect the city they serve by admitting and educating a population of students who are culturally, socio-economically, and ethnically diverse. We seek to serve as a model for combining excellence and equity, serving as a catalyst for change in New York City and the nation.