Repeal of the 1971 Hecht-Calandra Act and transferring control of admissions to New York City’s specialized high schools to the City. The Hecht-Calandra Act made the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test the single metric that can be used to admit students to specialized high schools. By giving control of specialized high school admissions back to New York City, there are opportunities to move beyond the test as a determining factor, which has resulted in a lack of diversity at these schools.
“We’re not calling for any policies, we’re just saying the state should stay out of it,” said Assembly Member Charles Barron, a co-sponsor of the legislation introduced Wednesday.
The previous bill never made it to the Senate, where Sen. John Liu was seen as an obstacle to getting legislation through the New York City education committee, which he chairs.
The new effort, spearheaded by the advocacy group Teens Take Charge, comes on the heels of sweeping protests against racial injustice that advocates hope will shine new light on segregation in city schools.
“The recent protests really did show all of us racism is a really big issue and that we need to do better in improving integration in this city,” said William Diep, a 16-year-old Teens Take Charge member, and senior at Brooklyn Latin, one of the city’s specialized schools.
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 – focuses on the arts. The other eight schools are The Bronx High School of Science, The Brooklyn Latin School, Brooklyn Technical High School, High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at the City College of New York, High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, Staten Island Technical High School, and Stuyvesant High School.
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.…
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 was decentralized, with accelerated SP (“special progress”) and IGC (“intellectually gifted”) classes in local schools giving academically talented kids in every city neighborhood an opportunity to receive instruction in the above-grade level material they would encounter on the SHSAT. Today, that opportunity is concentrated in just a handful of schools.
Although frequently virtue-signaling in public, Assemblymember Simotas has been a firm supporter of keeping the SHSAT high-stakes exam as the sole admissions criteria in NYC public specialized high schools.
From: “Aravella Simotas” <[email protected]>
Date: June 27, 2019 at 12:19:40 PM EDT
Subject: RE: Please OPPOSE A2173 on NYC Specialized High School Admissions
Thank you for your letter concerning the Specialized High School Admissions Test.
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……
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 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.