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Mark Twain School town hall

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Racial quotas are gone from I.S. 239 Mark Twain School for the Gifted and Talented and that will impact all the middle schools in District 21. Parents have a chance to learn about the ramifications and offer their input at a town hall on March 25 at 7 p.m. at I.S. 303, located at 501 West Avenue. Last month, a judge nixed a 1974 court order mandating that 60 percent of Mark Twain’s students be white and the other 40 percent be minorities. To ensure those demographics, minorities were held to higher admissions standards than white students – they had to score at least 84.4 on an admissions test, while white students needed to earn a 77. It seemed the court order only applied to Mark Twain, which is located at 2401 Neptune Avenue, but it was actually being enforced at all middle schools with magnet programs in District 21, which spans Coney Island and Bensonhurst. A city Department of Education (DOE) spokesperson has explained, “Although Mark Twain was the subject of the original court order, it was subsequently extended to cover all magnet programs/schools in District 21. “All of these programs will therefore be affected by [the judge’s] ruling.” The DOE says, “Admission to Mark Twain and other District 21 middle school magnet programs will now be race neutral.” District 21’s Community Education Council (CEC) is hosting the town hall. For more information, contact the CEC at 718-714-2503.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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