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

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.

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Posts, News & Articles

Interested in learning more? We’ve collected 145 articles on Hecht-Calandra, SHSAT, and related topics.

Thinking through gifted and talented education in New York City public schools: One parent’s reflection on the system

How does the process work? Four-year-olds take a nationally normed standardized test (actually, two tests, the NNAT and the OLSAT, which are supposed to measure reasoning ability and general intellectual aptitude). No bubble sheets: It’s administered in person by an ...
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Being black at Stuyvesant: Two students on what it’s like for African Americans at the specialized high school

Just because students are intelligent enough to pass a test doesn’t mean they understand people who might be ethnically, racially or culturally different.
That’s what happened to Gordon in his freshman biology class when his lab partner blamed him for ...
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Excerpt from an interesting opinion on NYC specialized high schools. Do we need them? Why do we have them?... The very obvious solution to the specialized high schools’ diversity conundrum is here: get rid of the specialized high schools. They’re ...
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The History of New York City’s Special High Schools

A 2014 timeline of SHSAT related events. 2014 - New York City Council Introduces Package of Legislation to Promote Diversity in City Schools
On Wednesday, October 22nd, New York City Council members introduced one bill and two resolutions intended to build momentum ...
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Elite High-School Debate Simmers as Albany Session Winds Down

They got some relief Wednesday when Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat who attended Brooklyn Technical High School, told reporters he isn’t considering a deal to pass that bill in return for other changes, such as boosting gifted programs.
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Scribner to Name Unit to Study Special‐School Entrance Tests

School Chancellor Harvey B. Scribner announced last night that he would soon appoint a broad‐based committee to examine all the admission policies and procedures of the city's four specialized academic high schools.
The high schools, all of which require a special ...
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A SHSAT research paper published in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. Jonathan Taylor
Hunter College Gender Equity Project ABSTRACT The use of test scores in school admissions has been a contentious issue for decades. In New ...
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An Improvement to the Mayor’s Current Proposal

The mayor recently recommended a new specialized high school admissions procedure. Instead of a single exam, he'd like to identify the top 25% of NYC 8th grade students based on state score. Then from that group, make specialized high school ...
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Dr. Jon Taylor Testifies at NYS Assembly Hearing on the SHSAT

Dr. Jonathan Taylor's testimony, without the following question and answer with elected officials. The entire seven hour hearing can be found here... 5-10-19 Public Hearing on Specialized High Schools ...
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PUTTING DREAMS TO THE TEST: A special report; Elite High School Is a Grueling Exam Away

A NYTimes overview of the test and experiences in 1998. The Stuyvesant test is officially called the ''Examination for the Specialized Science High Schools'' -- Stuyvesant, the Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School. The same test ...
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