Performing Arts School Can’t Hold Auditions Anymore Because Of Diversity Plan


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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter
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New Voices School of Academic and Creative Arts in New York City can no longer hold auditions to determine who can attend the school due to a diversity plan passed by Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday.

Acceptance into the school will be based on a lottery system, the New York Post reported Friday. Half the spots will be set aside for low-income, English learners and homeless students.

The bill aims to increase diversity in Brooklyn’s 15th district by forcing schools to forego academic criteria like auditions, test scores and grades. The bill affects 11 middle schools, the Post reported Thursday.

New Voices has 600 students, with 52 percent of the population are white students, 33 percent are Hispanic students, 7 percent are Black students and 5 percent are Asian students.

The school was developed to provide students in sixth to eight grades a place to learn core subjects while integrating the visual and performing arts, the school’s website says. Students had to interview and audition but did not have to provide test scores, to gain accepted into the school.

One teacher approves of the diversity initiative. (RELATED: SCIENCE: University ‘Diversity Officers’ Aren’t Really Doing Anything But Making College More Expensive)

“It’s not college,” the unnamed teacher told the Post. “Nobody should have to audition.”

Andrea James, 49, whose daughter attends New Voices disagreed with the initiative.

“The fact is, there are a lot more African-American students here because of those auditions,” James told the Post. “The diversity’s up. Some of these kids wouldn’t be here otherwise, but they are immensely talented and the auditions make all the difference.”

Districts that come up with their own diversity plans will receive $2 million, according to de Blasio, Pix 11 reported Thursday. The lottery will affect Park Slope, Red Hook and Sunset Park neighborhoods starting in October.

New Voices and de Blasio’s office did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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