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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.

Posts, News & Articles

Interested in learning more? We’ve collected 231 articles on Hecht-Calandra, SHSAT, and related topics.

NYC’s specialized high schools continue to admit few Black, Latino students, 2022 data shows

While the share of Black and Latino students taking the test increased this year by more than five percentage points, to almost 47% of test-takers, that did not translate into more students earning a score high enough to qualify for ...
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Hear from four TJ freshmen admitted under controversial circumstances

It's a terrible title, but the article makes the rare decision of asking students what they thought. I think TJ was right to get rid of the admissions test, because it makes it more fair for everyone. Now, people who ...
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Civil Rights Groups Submit Amicus Brief in Support of Race-neutral Admissions Policy at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Appellee appears to recognize that controlling precedent foreclosed a finding
of discriminatory intent, but nevertheless invited the district court to misapply the
law in furtherance of its attempt to change the law to prevent schools across the
country from removing known barriers to ...
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IBO: Eliminate “Specialized Academic” Bonus to 13 Screened and Specialized High Schools

Previously, the NYC Independent Budget Office (NYC IBO) noted that the NYC SHSAT Exam costs the city at least $8M per year in direct costs. This does not include proctors and other indirect yearly costs. NYC IBO SHSAT Exam Annual ...
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A new Supreme Court case makes George W. Bush look like a racial justice crusader

The 10 percent rule was enacted in response to a 1996 federal appeals court decision, which struck down an affirmative action program at UT-Austin’s law school. But it quickly took on a political life of its own. As a candidate ...
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Adams & Banks are putting lipstick on a pig: Separate gifted-and-talented classes are bad educational practice that drive segregation

Integration researchers and advocates like us have been recommending for years that all students in all classrooms deserve access to opportunities to challenge and stimulate their learning and creativity. Rather than telling kids that they’re in G&T or they’re out, ...
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New York City to Expand Gifted and Talented Program but Scrap Test

In fall 2020, when an admission test was used, just 4 percent of offers went to Black pre-K students, according to data from the Department of Education. That percentage rose to 11 percent when a universal screen was used in ...
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Ending the Exploitation of Asian Parents

These days, however, many Asian parents are unfortunately wasting hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on expensive tutoring and preparatory classes. This industry’s sole purpose is to train children to ace standardized admissions tests, which bar the entrance to many ...
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Separate But Free

separate is inherently unfree. As this Article uniquely clarifies, segregation deprives schoolchildren of freedom to become equal citizens and freedom to learn in democratic, integrated, and transformative settings. We must name and reclaim these positive, social, emancipatory freedoms—envisioned by the ...
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Constitutional Diversity in New York’s Specialized High Schools: The SHSAT, the Discovery Program, and the Fourteenth Amendment

Even if the SHSAT was an educational necessity, it would still violate disparate impact regulations if there was an alternative available that achieved the same objective with a less discriminatory impact. The NAACP LDF found that a multi-measured approach to ...
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