Mr. de Blasio and others have argued that the only way to increase the number of black and Hispanic students in the schools is to eliminate the exam. This year, only seven black students received offers to Stuyvesant High School, the most selective of the specialized schools, out of 895 seats. Albany has controlled the exam since 1971. Mr. de Blasio wanted to replace the test with a system that offered seats to top performers at every city middle school.
Some black and Hispanic students have said they did not even know the exam existed or could not afford preparation for the test, which quizzes students on concepts they may not learn in middle school.