Mayor Michael Bloomberg is sticking up for the city's eight elite high schools amid allegations that their specialized entrance exam is biased.
He says schools like Stuyvesant and Bronx Science accept the best and the brightest and does so fairly.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a federal civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, claiming black and Latino students are effectively being shut out of the schools because of the exam.
The group argues other admissions criteria should be used instead of basing it on a single standardized test.
Mayor Bloomberg disagrees.
"There's nothing subjective about this," he said. "You pass the test, you get the higher score, you get into the school, no matter what your ethnicity, no matter what your economic background is. That's been the tradition in these schools since they were founded and it's going to continue to be."
Critics say black and Latino enrollment is greater at other elite city schools that use broader criteria for admission.
The New York City Department of Education says state law requires it to admit students based solely on the exam.