Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

SHSAT

SHSAT

  • school announcement

    Mayor de Blasio announces specialized high school plans (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    One of the most controversial topics in the New York City public education system is the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and its use as the sole tool for admission to the city’s eight premier STEM-oriented specialized high schools. There has always been a robust debate about the admissions process, because while the New York City public schools are predominantly African-American and Latino (about 68% of students), these populations represent only 10.4% of

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  • maybdb new school

    Mayor and Chancellor have major decisions to make (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    While our schools are shut down because of the coronavirus, recent good news points to successful efforts to improve the ethnic diversity of the city’s specialized high schools -- Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and five others.

    At the end of May, the New York City Department of Education issued its report on the Discovery Program. Created over 50 years ago to improve admissions for black and Latino students, it had fallen into complete disuse, except at Brooklyn Tech. To

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  • chancellor rogue

    Chancellor Carranza, with Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza has gone rogue over the issue of what to do about the specialized high schools like Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and five others that use the SHSAT, a competitive academic test to determine admissions.

    While Mayor Bill de Blasio is now saying that he is open to keeping the test with some added admissions features and the City Council is convening a task force intended to include all stakeholders, which will take a year to

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  • rdjr sotb

    Ruben Diaz Jr. (photo: Victor Chu/Bronx BP)


    Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is in favor of closing the jails on Rikers Island but vehemently opposed to the joint de Blasio administration-City Council plan for a new jail site in the Bronx. Diaz Jr. isn’t against a new jail in his borough. Instead, he wants the city to use a different location, closer to the courthouse where defendants must appear, but that city officials say is less workable than their chosen site.

    Diaz Jr. made his case during ...

  • de Blasio SHSAT

    Mayor de Blasio announces specialized high schools plan (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    In June of 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out a plan to eliminate the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) for New York City’s specialized public high schools, in an effort to increase diversity, especially for black and Latino

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  • mayorsoffice school

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    How many times is the Department of Education going to mislead the public in connection with the city’s effort to eliminate the test used to select students for admission to its highest performing high schools?

    Reasonable people can disagree about the value of changing admissions to Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and five other schools that use the Specialized High School Admissions Test. But facts should matter to the DOE.

    The latest case in point concerns the city’s announcement

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  • students

    students (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The public education system in New York City remains one of the most segregated and unequally resourced school systems in the country, reflective of segregation and inequality in other areas of our civic life.

    That segregation is starkly obvious in our specialized high schools. In a city where two out of three public high school students are black or Latino, it is unacceptable that they comprise only 10% of the student body across all eight of our elite high schools.

    Much has been made recently of

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  • Stuyvesant HS

    Stuyvesant High School (photo: Jim Henderson via Wikipedia)


    When I graduated from Stuyvesant High School in June of 2001, I remember feeling sad to be moving on from my friends and excited to be moving on to college. But I also remember an overwhelming sense of relief that I would no longer have to deal with the tests that formed the backbone of the Stuyvesant High School experience.

    The tests didn’t start at the end of the first semester or even during midterms freshman year. They did not even start on the day that I made the trip down to Battery Park to

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  • mayorsoffice brewer

    (Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Critics of the test used for admitting students to New York City’s specialized high schools -- Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and five others -- failed to properly assess this year’s test and admission results because they yearned for a more robust increase in offers to black and Latino students, when compared to the year before. The city had improved the test and increased outreach and free test prep, all efforts intended to redress their underrepresentation, but in a school system where more than

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  • classroom teacher board students desks

    (photo: Kevin Caraballo for the DOE)


    Every October, roughly one-third of the eligible eighth-graders in New York City -- between 25,000 and 30,000 students -- take the Standardized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) for a chance to attend one of the city’s eight specialized high schools. Admission to these schools is highly competitive, and spots are coveted. While less than 20% of students who take the test receive an offer, 72% of those who are accepted choose to attend. Yet, despite being in New York City, where the overall student body

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  • de blasio edu speech bennett

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Rob Bennett, Mayor's Office)


    As this school year began last week for over one million students, Mayor Bill de Blasio took advantage of the first day of classes to publicly highlight his efforts to improve the educational offerings of New York City schools. The mayor is now doing so under his banner “Equity and Excellence” agenda.

    There is a long way to go. Currently, only about 38 percent of the students in our elementary schools are reading at grade level. About 70 percent of students graduate

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