Category: overview

  • Cram City

    Despite these grim odds, young Indians continue arriving in Kota, and the coaching institutes have become a big business, encompassing 300 or so centers that generate $350 million to $450 million in revenue every year, according to one estimate. The largest coaching company, the Allen Career Institute, instructs more than one million students. “There are…


    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.

  • 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…


    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 who gain admission to the city’s specialized high schools, his family didn’t have the resources…

  • NYCLU: Paving the Way

    Standardized test scores aren’t a good predictor of whether a student will succeed. No one knows that more than Obrian, an A-student, track star, and activist at Brooklyn Tech.

  • Video: NYC School Segregation: Rethinking the SHSAT

    65 years after Brown v. Board of Education, segregation in public schools remains a major issue in cities across the country. New York City has one of the most segregated school systems in the country, and some see the controversial Specialized High Schools Admissions Test as part of the problem. At a City Council Oversight…

  • Why Did New York’s Most Selective Public High School Admit Only 7 Black Students?

    Nearly 900 students have been offered admission to one of New York City’s most elite public high schools. Only seven of those students are black. New York Times podcast on the SHSAT issue. Audio program reviews SHSAT history to current politics.

  • Documentary Short: A Select Few

    “NY1 takes a look at the controversy surrounding the Specialized High School Admissions Test, the exam that students take to get into the city’s elite public high schools.” These five bright students have been preparing for much of their lifetime, either through additional test prep programs, tutors or intensive courses. For them, it’s a necessary…

  • A Summer of Test Prep Means More Asians in the City’s Elite Schools

    Those involved in the tutoring business believe the deck is stacked because too many smart kids don’t even know about the importance of test prep. While certain Asian immigrants have created a pipeline of tutoring centers, educators say black and Latino students often don’t have the same networks in their communities.

  • NYC has the country’s most segregated schools; will the city’s plan to change that make its best schools worse?

    The old “integration will make our schools worse” argument. A frequent argument after Brown vs. Board in the 60’s makes its return. “There’s no research that shows that it’s either valid or reliable as an instrument to identify talent,” said Carranza about the SHSAT.  “It’s just a hard test.” NYC Chancellor