AACE Stands Firmly with New York’s Asian-American Community in the Lawsuit Against Racial Balancing in the Discovery Program

By | December 17, 2019

For Immediate Release

December 16, 2019

Livingston, New Jersey: On December 11, 2019, Mr. Raymond Wong, AACE’s Board Director of the Legal Committee, joined New York parents and the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York (CACAGNY) in a court hearing on the Discovery Program case. As a co-plaintiff in this landmark Asian-American civil rights case and a national organization advancing equal education rights, the Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) reaffirms its strong commitment to the Asian-American community in New York City. We will continue to fight for an end to the racially motivated policy on the Discovery Program through legal actions.

Last year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza unveiled a politically motivated reform to expand the city’s Discovery Program regarding New York’s world-class specialized high schools. The reform claims to: 1. fill 20% of admissions with students who have just missed the SHSAT cutoff line under Discovery; 2. reserve program eligibility to schools with a 60% or higher poverty rate. This politically charged plan clearly carries a racial component as both the Mayor and Chancellor have explicitly expressed anti-Asian in public. In practice, this plan unlawfully restricts equal access of tens of thousands of poor Asian-American children living outside high-poverty school districts to Specialized High Schools. In last December, the AACE joined a group of Asian-American parents, CACAGNY and the Christa McAuliffe Parent Teacher Organization in a lawsuit to stop this plan.

At the discovery hearing on this Wednesday, our case attorney Chris Kieser of Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) did a wonderful job by presenting thorough legal arguments on the primary racial considerations of the reform as well as the plaintiffs’ associational standing. He eloquently demonstrated that the city has changed the rules to intentionally alter racial demographics at these high schools without applying strict scrutiny, which disproportionately impacts low-income Asian-American students. During the post-hearing press release organized by Wai Wah Chin, President of CACAGNY, PLF Legal Director Joshua Thompson explained the case in detail and spoke with confidence that justice will prevail in this case.

Mr. Yukong Zhao, the president of AACE said: “The Discovery Program reform proposed by Mayor de Blasio blatantly violates the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees the equal protection of the laws. It further showcases cowardly politicians’ plans to impose racial modeling as a bandage to cover up their persistent failures in improving the quality of education in black and Hispanic communities. We will continue to support the Asian-American community in New York in this courageous fight against illegal racial balancing in K-12 education!”

 Asian American Coalition for Education

Dr. Wenyuan Wu
, telephone: (786) 393-8028, email: admin@asianamericanforeducation.org.

Ms. Swann Lee, telephone: (617) 906-6380, email: swanleeca@gmail.com.

About the AACE:  www.asianamericanforeducation.org

Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) is a non-political, nonprofit, grassroots national organization, the proven leader in fighting for Asian-American children’s equal educational rights. On May 15, 2015, the founders of AACE united 64 Asian-American organizations and jointly filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to request that they conduct investigations into Harvard University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian-American applicants. As the largest joint action taken by Asian-American communities over the last few decades, this complaint is now being investigated by the Justice Department. Over the years, we have advanced the cause of equal education rights for the Asian-American community.