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 SHSAT Documentary: A Select Few

Posts, News & Articles

Interested in learning more? We’ve collected 130 articles on Hecht-Calandra, SHSAT, and related topics.

Hecht-Calandra Governor’s Bill Jacket

Research on the passing of Hecht-Calandra in 1971. This includes supporting documents from various agencies and stakeholders ...
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This is one of the original New York Times articles reporting on the passage of the Hecht-Calandra law. New York City Democrats split into emotionally charged camps to day as the Assembly passed a bill designed to limit the Board ...
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Bangladeshi families prep for controversial specialized high school exam

About 40 middle school children—all but one from Bangladeshi immigrant families in the Bronx—sat quietly inside a stark classroom at Khan’s Tutorial in Parkchester on a Sunday afternoon in September. Barely audible from the upstairs classroom were the sounds of ...
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5-10-19 Public Hearing on Specialized High Schools

The NY State Assembly had its first hearing on SHSAT exam. The hearing brought together activists, scientists, politicians and city hall employees all to discuss Hecht-Calandra and the exam it authorized. Follow the link below for the over 7 hours ...
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De Blasio’s Plan for NYC Schools Isn’t Anti-Asian. It’s Anti-Racist.

The mayor’s plan isn’t anti-Asian, it’s anti-racist. It would give working-class parents — including Asian-Americans — who can’t afford and shouldn’t have to find ways to afford expensive test prep programs a fairer chance that their child will be admitted ...
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Is the SHSAT a Valid Test?

The fact that the test changes so frequently with no impact on the quality of graduates from the specialized high schools also argues against the utility of the exam as a necessary factor in that success. http://akilbello.com/is-the-shsat-a-valid-test/ ...
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Admission Test’s Scoring Quirk Throws Balance Into Question

Mr. Feinman had stumbled on a little-known facet of the test: because of the complex way it is graded, a student scoring extremely high on one part of the exam has a sharp advantage over a student with high but ...
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NYC chapter of Sharpton’s group looks to scrap elite schools test, in break with longtime ally

"The National Action Network, as a Civil Rights organization, cannot allow nor support 'elitism,'" the remarks state. "As for the opposition's position for 'keeping the test as is and fix all middle schools,' NAN asks why hasn’t this been done ...
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Two key questions about how New York City admits students into its elite public schools

Two key questions about the Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT) have not received enough attention in the current debate.
First, is the SHSAT a good test? Second, is using a test, even if it’s good, as the sole basis ...
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NYC Bar: Eliminate Competitive Admissions to NYC Public Elementary & Middle Schools

Equal access to educational opportunity and racially and economically integrated public schools are central goals of the SDAG and the larger civil-rights community. These goals cannot be achieved unless the New York City Department of Education eliminates competitive admissions to ...
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