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Asian parents sue NY STEM program for alleged discrimination in favor of Black, Hispanic students

A Lawsuit Claims⁣ New York’s STEM Program Discriminates Against Asian Students

A⁤ group of Asian parents has filed a ⁢federal lawsuit this week, alleging that New York’s state-funded STEM summer‍ program is favoring black and Hispanic students over⁤ their own children. The parents have sued​ the Department of Education, claiming ‍that while⁤ black ⁢and Hispanic kids are accepted into the program ⁣regardless of their income, Asian and white kids must provide⁣ proof of low-income ⁤status.

“In other words, the Hispanic child of a multi-millionaire ⁢is⁣ eligible to ⁤apply to STEP, while an Asian American child whose family earns just above the state’s low-income⁤ threshold is not, solely because of her race or ethnicity,” the lawsuit alleges.

The ‍program, known as the Science and Technology Entry Program​ (STEP), accepts around 11,000 students⁤ in 7th grade and above each year. It offers classes at 56 colleges⁤ and ‍medical schools across the state, providing instruction, ‌exam preparation, hands-on and research training, college admissions guidance, and career-focused​ activities such as field trips and college visits.

The ⁤program’s website states that it accepts economically disadvantaged students, ​as well as​ African American, Hispanic/Latino, Alaskan ⁤Native, or American Indian students.

Yiatin⁢ Chu, a plaintiff in the ​lawsuit and a‌ member of the Asian ⁣Wave Alliance, has previously ‍fought ‍against​ alleged anti-Asian bias in‌ New York City​ schools. Chu expressed his concerns, stating, “This⁣ is outright discrimination against‌ Asian-American students pursuing‌ the STEM⁣ field. The program should be for all students or for low-income students. The state is choosing which‍ race⁣ is eligible.”

The ​parents are represented ⁤by the Pacific Legal ​Foundation and the Equal Protection⁣ Project. ‍Erin Wilcox, an attorney from the Pacific Legal Foundation, emphasized that New York‍ should not determine⁢ educational‌ program admissions based on race, as it violates the Constitution’s⁤ equal protection guarantee.

In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court previously ruled against affirmative action policies at universities. The lawsuit claims that ⁢New ⁤York’s STEP program has had a similar⁤ race-based policy for almost ​four decades. Such policies have⁤ faced ​scrutiny since ⁢the Supreme Court’s ⁤decision.

Attorney ⁤William Jacobson,⁢ founder of the Equal Protection Project​ and a Cornell University‍ law professor, stated, “There is no good⁢ form of racism, and the State of New York⁤ needs to stop this discrimination.”

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How does the lawsuit argue that the admissions process for the STEM‌ program in ​New York‌ state is discriminatory?

Lleges and universities across New York state, aiming to provide educational⁣ opportunities in ⁣science, technology,⁢ engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to underrepresented students.

While STEP aims⁣ to promote diversity and⁣ inclusion,⁣ the lawsuit argues that its admissions process‍ is discriminatory. According to the lawsuit, Asian and white students are being unfairly excluded from the​ program based on their race and ethnicity, even if they meet the‌ program’s income requirements.

The lawsuit claims that black and Hispanic students are accepted into STEP regardless of their income level, while Asian and white⁤ students are required to provide proof of low-income status. This, the Asian parents argue, creates a disparity in the ⁤admissions process, where students‍ of different racial and ethnic backgrounds are subjected to different standards.

The plaintiffs argue that this policy overlooks Asian and white students who come from families that may slightly exceed the state’s low-income threshold ‌but still face financial challenges. They believe that the income-based criterion should ‍be applied equally to all students, regardless‍ of their race or ethnicity.

This lawsuit raises important questions about equality‌ and fairness in New York’s STEM programs. It challenges the​ notion that race or ethnicity should ‍be used as a determining factor in admissions, suggesting that economic status should be⁢ the sole criterion for eligibility.

While the intention‌ behind STEP is commendable, ensuring equal access to educational opportunities should be a ⁤priority. It is crucial to⁤ avoid any form of discrimination and bias in the admissions process, as this not only ‌harms the excluded students but also perpetuates social inequities.

New York’s⁤ Department of Education needs to‍ carefully review its admissions policies and address the concerns raised by the Asian parents. The goal ⁢should be⁢ to‍ establish a fair and transparent process that provides ⁤equal opportunities to all students, regardless of their race or ethnicity.

Moreover, ​this lawsuit highlights⁢ the‍ need for a broader conversation about how we can best support underrepresented ⁢groups in STEM fields. It is essential to identify and address the barriers that prevent certain students from pursuing educational opportunities in these fields.

Efforts should be made to provide comprehensive support systems that target ⁤various challenges such as financial constraints,⁣ lack of resources,​ and limited representation. By doing so, we can ensure that ⁢all students,‌ regardless of their background, have the opportunity to excel in STEM disciplines.

In conclusion, the‌ lawsuit⁤ filed by a group of Asian ⁣parents against New York’s STEM‌ program ⁢raises⁤ important questions about discrimination and fairness in the admissions process. ‍It emphasizes ⁤the need​ to establish equal opportunities‍ for all students, regardless of⁢ their race or ethnicity. Furthermore, it calls for a comprehensive approach ⁤to address the barriers that underrepresented students face in‌ STEM fields. It is crucial that New York’s Department of Education carefully reviews its policies and ensures that⁣ its STEM‍ programs ⁢promote inclusivity and diversity.



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