Cases & Deals

New York public school forced to change discriminatory admission policy

Client(s) Rau, Anjan and Katapadi, Kanchan

In April 2008, a Jones Day Washington team won a significant victory ending a policy by the New York City Department of Education ("NYDE") that effectively discriminated against minority students applying to a prestigious public middle school in Brooklyn. The NYDE admission policy was based on a federal court order that required school officials to admit minority and white students to Mark Twain in proportion to the demographics of the school district. Given the current racial makeup of the district, the order disadvantaged minorities by limiting the number of minority students that could attend the school, thus requiring them to attain higher scores on the admission test than white applicants. Jones Day represented the parents of three children in this case, Rau v. New York City School Board, et al. The clients' eldest child, classified as a minority, was denied admission after scoring above the cutoff for white students but below the score required of minorities. Jones Day filed an action against the NYDE challenging its admission policy on behalf of a class of future minority applicants. The NYDE agreed that the order should be lifted, and the federal district court agreed that the NYDE was no longer bound by the earlier order. The NYDE subsequently agreed to implement a race-neutral admission policy.

Rau vs. New York City School Board, et al.