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Over the almost 50 years of Hecht-Calandra act being law, we now have decades of research detailing the problems with high-stakes testing as the sole measure of student ability. Yet Hecht-Calandra and the exam it authorizes continue to be New York State law.

Denying the harm in using a single multiple-choice exam as the sole measure of a child’s academic worth with the mountains of scientific evidence we now have is similar to denying global warming.

No other district in the nation uses a single exam for screening a public high school. No red state or GOP-led State has a single-measure entrance exam.

Replace Hecht-Calandra act to allow modern psychometric testing practices that aren’t subject to the above issues.

How you can help

We have a hard time getting NY Assembly and Senate elected members to give on-record opinions on the test.  Call your Assembly and Senate representatives to ask for their opinion on the test.  And let us know their opinion.

Watch powerful testimony on the SHSAT and its effect on the mental health of 12 year-old students

Posts, News & Articles

Interested in learning more? We’ve collected 162 articles on Hecht-Calandra, SHSAT, and related topics.

A Single Score No More: Rethinking the Admissions System for New York City’s Specialized High Schools to Preserve Academic Excellence and Promote Student Diversity

This paper gets a few of its core premises wrong. The SHSAT exam does NOT strongly predict academic performance nor ability. Papers put its validity at 20%. Which basically means it's only predicting 20% of what makes a student successful ...
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Andrew Yang: Admission to elite schools shouldn’t just be about tests

This is a courageous and commendable stance from Mr. Yang. “I think we should de-emphasize them. If they are going to be used and they should be used in conjunction with more holistic practices,” Andrew Yang on Standardized Testing https://nypost.com/2019/10/21/andrew-yang-admission-to-elite-schools-shouldnt-just-be-about-tests/ ...
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Program Aims To Level Playing Field For Testing Into NYC’s Specialty High Schools

Parents spend thousands of dollars, students "study to the test" for years. The most popular ( largest ) SHSAT prep program ( Kahn's Tutorial ) reportedly charges about $2,500 for an 11-month course. Michelle Zhang, a freshman at Stuyvesant High ...
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Is This What We Consider ‘a Good Education’?

This is one of the best "perspective" pieces on the topic yet. The time has come, I believe, to redefine what it means to be a great public school.
McGraw put it this way: “I don’t know why we’re celebrating a ...
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Attorney Launches ‘DREAMChasers’ Program to Help Underrepresented Students Prepare for SHSAT

The students have been studying with instructors from Khan's Tutorial. The 11 month course normally costs around $2,500. But these classes, for students from low-income homes, are free—thanks to a program called DREAMChasers. It was created by attorney and Bronx ...
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The Effects – Intended and Not – Of Ending the Specialized High School Test

Our findings also lead us to some larger conclusions about flaws inherent in New York City’s entire system of choice in public high school admissions. Because under this system, there is no simple, direct relationship between an individual applicant’s academic ...
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Back to School Reform

The allure of testing lies in its apparent neutrality—its democratic indifference to a student’s background and wealth. But this is not how the current system functions. Success correlates closely to socioeconomic advantages and access to test preparation. Pricey services offer ...
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The burden on elite high schools: They must change their cultures to welcome students of all backgrounds

Over the course of our meetings, many students lamented the lack of diversity at our schools, specifically with regard to black and Latino students. They shared that the lack of representation at their schools created environments that bred racism and ...
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Liu: No quick fix to specialized high schools entrance exam

Senator John Liu showed his hand and hinted that he plans to kill any SHSAT reform by languishing the decision in committee over the next few years. State Sen. John Liu said at City & State’s Education Summit on Thursday ...
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