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

A10731: We have a new bill!

This new bill calls for the repeal of the Hecht-Calandra Act. At present, there are nine specialized high schools in New York City, one of which - Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts - ...
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SHSAT AND SEGREGATION by Micha Hervey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM1GJZrzxGk 6-minute student short documentary "SHSAT AND SEGREGATION" by teen student Micha Hervey. Micha did an excellent job, and though our vote maybe biased, would get our nod for an Emmy if we had one ...
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SHSBADI at 10: Lessons Learned and the Path Forward

We realized that both the admissions process and the school system had changed from the time of our attendance. Many of us came to Stuyvesant by way of gifted classes in our neighborhood public schools. Until the 90s, gifted education ...
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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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