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.

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 school that’s 97 percent Asian or white as a great school. I don’t know who came up with the idea that that was the definition of a great public school, because I think that a great public school is a school that exposes children to all types of diverse ideas, backgrounds and cultures and pushes them to think critically about the world around them.”

https://opencitymag.aaww.org/shsat-asian-americans-new-york-education/

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 Science alum Jason Clark after visiting his old school and noticing the lack of diversity.

Confirms Kahn Tutorial’s 2019 prices

The SHSAT is “supposed” to be fair, but here students and parents alike are gushing about a $2,500 program.

And sadly very few of Kahn’s Tutorial students will get offers to specialized high schools after spending that much money.…

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 strengths and the caliber of the high school she or he ultimately attends. Myriad other factors intervene, including: exposure to and awareness of the application process and the range of high-quality school options available; quality of middle school counseling; ability or willingness to undertake long inter-borough commutes to school; and others. 

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 tutoring to ever younger children. (There is a niche industry of consultants who help two-year-olds ace their preschool admissions assessments.) Yet many defenders of testing believe that more subjective forms of evaluation present their own unfairness. 

Outside the neutral language of policy reports, the issue of testing is debated in a context of winners and losers, of model minorities and problematic ones.