NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson: The time to act is now on specialized high schools

I support the success of all communities, which is why I believe the single test admissions process used to gain admittance to our eight test-based specialized schools must be abolished.

This is not a decision I make lightly, but I believe when tackling tough issues, we must make decisions based on fact, not on emotion or politics.

The single test admissions process we currently operate under was flawed from the beginning. It was mandated in 1971 under the Hecht-Calandra Act as a direct response to integration efforts to increase the number of black and brown students in specialized high schools.

The sponsors of that legislation — State Senator John Calandra and Assemblymember Burton Hecht – wanted to stop those efforts, which they felt were “an insidious attack” and “an attempt to destroy [those] schools.”