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 have griped about the way Stuyvesant does business, my inclination has long been to say, essentially, “Screw you.” Going to Stuyvesant is one of the best things to have ever happened to me.

Noguera is exactly right. The politicians and the education experts who are so fixated on the racial balance at Stuyvesant neglect the fact that Stuyvesant is not built to support and nurture students who need care and attention to excel academically and socially.

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 exam.

The fairness of the admissions process to the three exam schools—Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science—has been a contentious subject in recent years. Several civil rights groups and community organizations have argued that the admissions process, based half on student grades and half on their scores on the test, called the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE), has disadvantaged low-income students, particularly Blacks and Latinos.

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 groups funded by CEOs, and alumni associations with deep pockets. Its ranks also include self-described progressives such as Jumanee Williams, alumnus of the specialized school system and current New York City Public Advocate. Instead of scrapping the SHSAT, they believe the city should instead expand access to the exam, invest in SHSAT preparation services, and open more SHS.

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 SHSAT exam and Hecht-Calandra itself.
  • also, the Discovery program was reserved roughly 15% of offers in 1971.
  • and that it was the express legislative intent of Hecht-Calandra to give the mayor unlimited control over the level of offers in the discovery program.

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 Tech and the competitive admissions process to get there, I was still shocked: the answer was two. There were two special education classroom teachers for nearly 6,000 students.

https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2019/10/16/brooklyn-tech-ict-disability-specialized-school/

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. GPA comes in at about 40% as a comparison.

Unlike Mayor de Blasio’s plan, this Note’s proposal would preserve the SHSAT, for evidence shows that it accurately and strongly predicts academic success in high school. However, unlike the present system which relies solely on the exam for admission, my proposal would evaluate students based on four factors measuring academic performance: (1) SHSAT score; (2) GPA; (3) rank in eighth grade graduating class; and (4) rank among eighth graders citywide.

Program Aims To Level Playing Field For Testing Into NYC’s Specialty High Schools

Parents spend thousands of dollars, students “study to the test” for years. The most popular ( largest ) SHSAT prep program ( Kahn’s Tutorial ) reportedly charges about $2,500 for an 11-month course.

Michelle Zhang, a freshman at Stuyvesant High School, knows first hand.
“I was in test prep for the SHSAT for three years from when I was in 5th grade to the test,” she said.


Zhang’s parents spent thousands of dollars for her private tutoring, a benefit many students living in majority minority neighborhoods can’t afford.