The assignment from the unidentified teacher was designed to flex students' "persuasive writing" skills.
But Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, superintendent of the City School District of Albany, called the assignment "completely unacceptable."
"It displayed a level of insensitivity that we absolutely will not tolerate in our school community," Wyngaard said, "I am deeply apologetic to all of our students, all of our families and the entire community."
She told the Albany Times Union newspaper that one-third of the students refused to complete the work.
The teacher has not been in school since the district learned of the assignment.
The school district is considering disciplinary action, according to Ron Lesko, director of communications. Options include termination, but no decision has been made, Lesko said.
In the assignment, students were to pretend the educator was a member of the Nazi government.
"You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!" the teacher's assignment sheet said.
The assignment reiterated, "You do not have a choice in your position."
Image: High school students writing, via Shutterstock