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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 168 articles on Hecht-Calandra, SHSAT, and related topics.

Chancellor Carranza’s NYS 2021 Budget Comments on Repealing Hecht-Calandra

Chancellor Carranza gives the New York State Assembly and Senate a great summarized argument for repealing the Hecht-Calandra Act. Also at this hearing, Senator John Liu brought up the question of decertifying the 5 most recent SHSAT schools ...
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Close Stuyvesant High School

This 2014 Slate.com article makes the unusual argument that Specialized High Schools should be closed. My alma mater, Stuyvesant High School, has been a lightning rod in New York City politics for as long as I can remember. Whenever critics ...
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Boston: Exam school test administrator clashes with BPS over use of admissions test

Boston Public Schools have for years misused the test results that help determine admissions to its coveted exam schools, in a way that makes it harder for “underrepresented” students to win admissions, according to the organization that administers the controversial ...
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The System that Segregated NYC Schools

Although the mayor’s proposal is modest, opposition to it has been enormous. Opponents defend wholeheartedly the use of the SHSAT. It’s their belief that this high-stakes exam is objective, merit-based, and fair. This opposition movement is largely backed by lobbyist ...
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Lawyers Argue the Discovery Program on Injunction Appeal

In an attempt to appeal an earlier district court preliminary injunction decision plaintiff lawyers argue that the Discovery Program is somehow racist. It should be noted that...
  • ...that the Discovery program was started in the 1960s and predates the ...
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My son was admitted to a specialized high school. Then the school told us it couldn’t accommodate his disability.

I asked if there was any plan to offer integrated co-teaching in the fall. “Not that we know of,” came the response. I then asked how many special education teachers they had on staff. Despite everything I already knew about ...
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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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