Added: something I find particularly objectionable about the NYC thing is that they're going to reserve the spots for students from low-income schools, as opposed to low-income students.

What does this mean?

From the NY Times:

Originally Posted By: NY Times
And who makes it into the program will also change. Students are currently eligible if they meet the city Education Departmentís criteria for being disadvantaged. But under the new plan, only students who attended high-poverty middle schools will be accepted.

This means that low-income Asian students who don't go to a low-income school won't qualify. Instead, they'll qualify to be denied admission because they aren't poor in the right way. Note that a previous story in the Times said that some of these families sacrifice buying food to pay for tutoring.