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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.

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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City Council staffer accused of stoking tensions at protests over DOE’s plans to diversify NYC schools

I've seen this man at just about every SHSAT demonstration I've attended. He's definitely one of its most prolific organizers. The man who’s been the loudest in the raucous movement to oust Richard Carranza is on the payroll of one ...
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The WAVE: School Scope – Those SHSAT Tests, Part 1

This opinion piece dates SHSAT test prep to the 1950s. Of course, the entrance exam was not called "SHSAT" back then, and there was one exam per school. When I was an 8th grade student in the 1957-58 school year ...
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NEW YORK’S SPECIALIZED HIGH SCHOOLS NEED MORE STUDENTS LIKE OBRIAN

Obrian was devastated when he found out he didn’t score high enough on the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) to attend Brooklyn Technical High School, one of New York City’s most selective high schools. Unlike many of the students ...
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Elite or elitist? Lessons for colleges from selective high schools

An in-depth report on the state of specialized high schools across the nation. NYC specialized high schools are the only "one-exam-only" admissions in the nation reformers might do better instead to look to Chicago’s use of area-based geographical tiers. One ...
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