ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A measure that would allow New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to create a new admission system for the city's elite high schools has been approved by a state legislative committee.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says Wednesday's action by the chamber's education committee is the first step in addressing the issue of diversity in city's top eight specialized secondary schools.

De Blasio, a Democrat, says he wants to improve diversity in those high schools by ditching the current test used to determine who gets admitted.

More than 60 percent of students at the schools are Asian. De Blasio's plan would give more black and Hispanic students the opportunity to gain admission.

The proposal requires approval by the Democrat-controlled Assembly and the Republican-led Senate, where the measure faces opposition.