Three English classes at Albany High School were given the assignment, which was due Wednesday, CNN reported.
For the "persuasive argument" assignment, students were told pretend their teacher 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 said: "You do not have a choice in your position."
One-third of the students refused to complete the assignment, the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union reported.
Albany Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard issued a statement apologizing for the assignment.
"I would apologize to our families," she said. "I don't believe there was malice or intent to cause any insensitivities to our families of Jewish faith."
The name of the teacher who handed out the assignment was not reported.